3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING Commemorate the Anniversary of the 1988 OJHRI CAMP Disaster With New Video From Their REFUGE Project

WHEN: Video Premiere – Friday April 9, 2021 at 10:30 am EST
SONG: Ojhri Camp, from album Refuge

Sultans of String, featuring Anwar Khurshid & Ravi Naimpally

Go to the video on YouTube at this link https://youtu.be/L4TQs_WGbNI to SET REMINDER for the premiere.

[Toronto ON] Sultans of String are releasing this song to coincide with the April 10 anniversary of the Ojhri Camp disaster that occurred at a military storage centre located in Rawalpindi Military District in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province of Pakistan on April 10, 1988. It was used as an ammunition depot for Afghan Mujahideen fighting against Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The camp exploded, killing more than 1,300 people as a result of rockets and other munitions expelled by the blast.

Sultans of String collaborator, Anwar Khurshid, was working and living nearby, and tells his version of the tragedy, followed by the music it inspired. This song was composed as a collaboration between Anwar, along with violinist and bandleader Chris McKhool, and fellow Sultans of String bandmates Kevin Laliberté, Drew Birston, and Rosendo “Chendy” Leon.

As Anwar recalls: “In 1988 when the Afghan war had just ended in Rawalpindi Islamabad, the capital there was an ammunition depot where ammo was stored. There was a fire and the stored missiles and bombs just started flying around. These were huge bombs, like some were like bigger than this room and they would just fly off and land within the city. They would cause havoc and huge destruction, huge amount of destruction wherever they would fall. Fortunately the fuses had been sort of pulled off so that they didn’t explode but nevertheless they would just fly off and they would destroy houses. You know, people were injured, people died and there were like hundreds of bombs that actually flew away, and hit the cities. 

So it was during the day, I was in Islamabad. I was actually tutoring someone in mathematics, so when this started to happen I came out and I thought we were in a war because these missiles would just go “zzzhhhh”. I had a motorbike and I took this kid and I said well it’s time to go, so we started going towards his home where I was going to deliver him to his family. So when we got there to our horror, there was a bomb sticking through the main living area, like you could see parts of the bomb. Apparently it had hit their house and it had circled around a few times, destroyed everything inside the house, and was just sitting there. Like, the furniture was in bits. Everything inside was just like little pieces. After I left the kid as I’m driving towards my place now I’m actually going in the direction where the bombs are emanating from. It was very scary actually… As I was driving my bike one of my tires blew but I didn’t care I just kept driving and it was utter chaos.”

THIS IS A SONG FROM SULTANS OF STRING ALBUM: REFUGE
Internationally awarded and honoured Canadian band Sultans of String collaborates with over 30 musicians on REFUGE, “a fantastic, moving, dreamlike, epic, timely album.” – Ken Micallef (Jazz Times, Stereophile, Downbeat).

Addressing the struggles of life on Mother Earth has always inspired Sultans of String. On this visionary seventh album, Refuge, they bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on 13 songs that speak to the challenges facing the world’s displaced peoples–their stories, their songs, their persistence and their humanity.

Joined by an international cast, some of whom are recent immigrants to North America, the celebrated quintet immerses themselves in the plight of the international refugee, and the humanitarian response that should greet everyone in search of a home.

“This project is centred around the positive contributions of refugees and new immigrants to U.S.A. and Canada” says bandleader Chris McKhool (ancestral name Makhoul), whose Lebanese grandfather stowed away on a ship bound for North America a century ago.

“We’re collaborating with special guests on the album who are newcomers to this land, Indigenous artists, as well as global talents who have been ambassadors for peace. We wish to celebrate the successes of those who make the journey here and bring their extraordinary talents with them. We hope the conversations we can have as musicians will provide a model for peace that will inspire our politicians and citizens.”


FACEBOOK EVENThttps://www.facebook.com/events/1068966553598746 

BUY/LISTEN NOWhttp://smarturl.it/RefugeAlbum 
REFUGE EPKhttps://spark.adobe.com/page/nTMPzB2pbSPyP 
FACEBOOKhttps://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring 
SPOTIFY https://tinyurl.com/y5kxh96c 
TWITTERhttp://twitter.com/sultansofstring 
INSTAGRAMhttps://www.instagram.com/sultansofstring 

Sultans of String gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts – Digital Originals program. #BringingTheArtsToLife

Refuge was recorded thanks to the support of Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council, with Marketing support from FACTOR.

Lisa Weitz
Manager-Sultans of String
www.sultansofstring.com
416-846-6877 

Eric Alper
Publicist-Sultans of String
Eric@ThatEricAlper.com

Melodic Pop Singer-Songwriter Abby Zotz Releases Official Music Video for “See Your Face” from Local Honey

Abby during See Your Face video shoot

In her debut solo album, Local Honey, Abby Zotz takes an exhilarating leap … with arms wide open … and soars. Infused with a spirit of freedom, her new sound is a satisfying union of wistful pop blended beautifully with gospel, folk and blues; all filtered through her gift for emotional and philosophical contemplation. Abby’s is a voice that is at once authentic and pure, yet time and experience have lent a new edge to it; a broader vocal range and maturity that adds dimension and a touching honesty to her lyrics and emotional depth to her songs.

Launched in October of 2018, Local Honey has been touring Ontario and Quebec and enjoying healthy airplay across Canada. In early 2019, the album garnered two LA Music Critics’ Award nominations and a win for Best International Artist. Its three video singles – Big Hope, Good Bones and See Your Face – capture Zotz’s effortless stylistic adaptability and poeticism of her lyrics without compromising her universal appeal.

SEE YOUR FACE is Abby Zotz’s third video from her award-winning debut solo release, Local Honey, and is an homage to the songwriter’s creative spirit, which often returns to her in the spring, like a banished child finding her way back home. Directed by Sheena D. Robertson and featuring Zotz, Laura Cardeno, Baker Albach and Anntonia Marcucci-Robinson, it is tender and dream-like, leaving the cold Ontario winter behind in favour of love and inspiration blossoming in the warming air. It’s a state that brings us to a sense of homecoming, a return to ourselves, guided by Zotz’s warmly wise lyrics and sweet vocals. SEE YOUR FACE was shot in Northumberland County in late May – after a particularly long winter and wet spring – with photography by Dakota Wotton and editing by Jordan Crute.

“Teems with immense soulfulness…the poetic flourish of her lyric writing elevates the material to a higher level.” ~ NO DEPRESSION

“…a fantastic and cohesive album…that embraces you, while you embrace it.” ~ THE SPILL MAGAZINE

“…she is bar none the most listenable and accessible to fans of all ages, backgrounds and tastes.” ~ VENTS MAGAZINE

“…”an album that sums up all she’s learned as a musician and human being with singular beauty. Substantive musicality and commercial appeal in the same package…natural sounding magic.” ~ THE MUSIC REVIEWS

“…the indie folk album that we’ve all been waiting for…” ~ THE INDIE SOURCE

Good Bones is the Sophomore Video from Abby Zotz’s Upcoming CD, Local Honey, Releasing Oct. 13, 2018

GoodBonesTitleTile

Canadian singer-songwriter Abby Zotz contemplates the stories an old house could tell in her second video release from her solo recording, Local Honey. Good Bones, another co-write with long-time collaborator and former Two Roads Home partner, Bryan Williston, has a warm folk-country feel and features her live band with videography and direction by Ryan Osman. 

“The song was inspired by the home of our friend Marney Simmons, a charming and traditional dwelling in Mulgrave, Nova Scotia that overlooks the Strait of Canso and Cape Breton Island,” Abby explains. “My mother’s family is from Belmont NS, and hers was another fine old place. It was easy to let our imaginations roam through time and create snapshots of lives lived within these walls.”

Ryan’s careful attention to detail and the presence of the band create the deep fondness and humour found in real human connection and add depth to the message of the song: “that we stand alone, but within a larger community, and that our bones, like a home’s, must be lived in and loved if we’re to make any sense of this life.”

Join Abby for her very special album release concert for Local Honey at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 1T1 on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3603396

abbyzmusic.com

Sultans of String Celebrate Lyric Inclusivity of O Canada with a New Video & Recording

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In January 2018, legislation was passed to make an important change in the English-language version of Canada’s national anthem O Canada. The line “True patriot love in all thy sons command” was replaced with “True patriot love in all of us command” to ensure gender parity. This is an important step towards recognizing and including all Canadians in our national anthem.

3x JUNO Award nominees/CFMA winners Sultans of String are celebrating this change with a new video and recording!

As bandleader Chris McKhool explains, music is a perfect medium for uniting people for social justice: “What I really love about music is its ability to bring together people and cultures in a way that emulates what we love to see in the world, creating collaborations that break down the barriers that divide us, helping us to see our common humanity, and providing a model for peace. So we went into the streets of Toronto and invited people to write a message on our ‘Peace Kite’, and then flew it to spread the message of inclusion and peace across the country. Making this video revealed the tremendous generosity and goodwill of regular Canadians, and the gratitude and pride we all feel about our country. It also reminded us of Canada’s important reputation as a peacekeeping nation, and a haven to which people from around the world find freedom from persecution and war.”

For a musician whose career has been dedicated to bridging cultures through song, these themes are particularly meaningful. McKhool, whose name would have been spelled Makhoul in Kfarmishki, Lebanon, where his ancestors are from, loves being able to write and perform music with people from around the world who share a common vision. This production is another in an ongoing collaboration with award-winning Pakistani Canadian sitar player Anwar Khurshid.  “He’s become a great musical and personal friend”, says McKhool. “Together we started writing songs about the freedom and equality we personally experience living here in Canada, and about our hope of creating a better world for all.”

We welcome individuals and schools to download and use our MP3s royalty-free.  
  
English version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q_cwkqa14Cg
 
Bilingual version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PLOAYoT4X-Q 

 


Credits:

Sultans of String:
Chris McKhool – violin
Kevin Laliberte – guitar
Drew Birston – bass
Rosendo ‘Chendy’ Leon – percussion

Featuring special guests:
Anwar Khurshid – sitar
Rebecca Campbell – vocals
Ravi Naimpally – tabla
Choir – Amoy Levy, Ciceal Levy, Adrienne McKenzie, Camille Harrison, Nevon Sinclair, Danah Martin

Produced by Chris McKhool
Engineered, mixed, mastered by John ‘Beetle’ Bailey
Videography by Jake Roels
Flag pattern by Gabriel Oliveira

www.sultansofstring.com
www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
twitter.com/sultansofstring
For more info, and to invite Chris McKhool and Sultans of String for presentations, please contact:
Lisa Weitz
416-624-3466 (office) • 416-846-6877 (cell)
lw@lwcommunications.ca