3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING take their Global Grooves & Goodwill to hearts and homes with their Christmas Caravan & UNHCR Fundraising Zoom Concert!

SAT. DEC. 19, 2020 – 8:00pm EST (5:00 PST / 7:00pm CST)

SPECIAL GUESTS: Rebecca Campbell, Tamar Ilana, Donné Roberts, Kristine St-Pierre & more TBA!

ZOOM TICKETS: http://christmascaravan2020.eventbrite.ca
FACEBOOK EVENThttps://www.facebook.com/events/202730184800176

As winter crests and the mercury falls, everyone from your taxi driver to the music supervisor at the mall starts running timeless hits like “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night.” But on their Christmas Caravan album which hit Billboard’s World Music Charts and the New York Times Hits List, Canada’s string wizards Sultans of String go deeper. Recorded and co-produced with JUNO Award winning engineer John ‘ Beetle’ Bailey, Christmas Caravan isn’t your typical holiday album. You may recognize a few titles but you’ve never experienced seasonal music quite like this before. They’ll be bringing global grooves and goodwill to hearts and homes with their Christmas Caravan Zoom and fundraising concert for the UNHCR http://fundraise.unhcr.ca/sultansofstring

“Helping refugees is a cause we care about deeply because more than 67 million refugees worldwide are in desperate need of our support. They have every right to live a safe and dignified life as much as we do”, says bandleader/violinist and Queens Diamond Jubilee recipient Chris McKhool. “By supporting our tour and partnership with the UNHCR, you are providing life-saving assistance to refugees all over the world.”

These efforts are part of the band’s global vision to unite countries, cultures and traditions through the international language of music.  McKhool explains, “My parents are from Lebanese and Egyptian backgrounds, and also celebrated Christmas in the home. So Christmas songs as well as music from around the globe were always part of my upbringing. With this record and show, we created the spiritual Christmas songs I have always wanted to hear and perform that honoured this tradition, as well as diverse cultures.

“We wanted to make a real contribution to the Christmas repertoire, and hopefully create some new standards” adds McKhool. “And while this is a Christmas album, it is approached from the perspective of a world music band. We explored diverse genres, from Quebecois fiddle tunes to collaborating with a traditional Turkish string ensemble, and jump around from the classic sounds of the Andrews Sisters, to a Himalayan sleigh ride, African roots music, Gypsy-jazz, rumba flamenco, ska, and even the grandeur of the symphony.” 

For this festive event, the band has some very special guests joining in on the holiday cheer, including Rebecca CampbellTamar IlanaDonné RobertsKristine St-Pierreand more tba!

FEEDBACK FROM OUR ZOOM CONCERTS

“Music sounded amazing and the video production was super slick.”

“This was the best Zoom – online show I have seen. The setting and production values were excellent. It was obvious that time was taken to ensure us of a completely professional concert. Loved the music – hope there are more to come.”

“The show was amazing. Sound was top-notch, and I would know since I’ve been subjected to online classes for a while now. Overall great experience”

“It was great to have live music come right to our homes. The band played amazing music! The sound quality was wonderful. Hope to hear more live music from Sultans of String, soon.”

“That was a show, a variety show! A celebration of talent and music and diversity. So many friends and happiness coming together and you seamlessly switched from live acts around the country (ies) to videos to your home stage. Wow. big WOW! I had to remember that I was watching a live show, not a recorded, remixed and cut in the studio and then broadcast. Phenomenal.”

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

• 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Ensemble of The Year & Producer of the Year for “Refuge”
• 2020 Folk Music Ontario – Songs From The Heart Award for “I Am A Refugee” & Instrumental Song for “Refuge”
• 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Producer of the Year with Christmas Caravan
• 2018 Music featured in the acclaimed film, “Hotel Mumbai”
• 2017 JUNO nominees – World Music Album of the Year
• 2017 New York Times Hits List with Christmas Caravan
• 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — Christmas Caravan CD hits #6
• 2017 Canadian Nielsen World Music Charts – Christmas Caravan CD hits #3
• 2017 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Sing For Kwanzaa” from Christmas Caravan
• 2016 Canada’s High Commission in London UK presents SOS at Trafalgar Square
• 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
• 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats 
• 2016 ISC – Honorable Mention
• 2015 JUNO nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year    
• 2015 TIMA winners – Best World Album
• 2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner- World Group of the Year  
• 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental
• 2013 ISC  International Songwriting Competition Winner- Instrumental
• 2013 Festivals & Events- Performer of The Year 
• 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
• 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
• 2012 Festivals & Events- Entertainer of The Year 
• 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental
• 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental & World Beat Album
• 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist-  Instrumental & World Music
• 2010 JUNO Award Nominees –  “Instrumental Album of the Year”
• 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees- Favorite World Group
• 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place – Instrumental
• 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year
 (also nominated for Ensemble of the Year and Pushing the Boundaries)
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental
• 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act

WEBSITE/SOCIALS:

http://www.sultansofstring.com
http://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
http://www.instagram.com/sultansofstring
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring

Join our #WithRefugees campaign
Sign the petition today
Donations can be made at http://fundraise.unhcr.ca/sultansofstring

This recording was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

Sultans of String Premiere Video for the Song “Turkish Greensleeves” from Christmas Caravan

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SULTANS OF STRING PREMIERE VIDEO FOR THE SONG TURKISH GREENSLEEVES 

BAND ON TOUR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 

CHRISTMAS CARAVAN AVAILABLE NOW ON MCKHOOL RECORDS/CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK – A DIVISION OF SONY MUSIC

Sultans of String premiere a new video for the song “Turkish Greensleeves” featuring Gundem Yayli Grubu from their album Christmas Caravan. See it here: https://youtu.be/kIBRBPF7Gw0

The Sultans of String are: Chris McKhool · Chendy Leon, Jr. · Eddie Paton · Drew Birston · Kevin Laliberté. The band is set to take their genre-bending mix of songs to venues across Canada and US. See full schedule below for shows for the whole family.

“The world-music group Sultans of String aim for international hybrids on the holiday album Christmas Caravan” – New York Times Christmas Hits List

As we get closer to the holiday season expect to hear songs from the band’s acclaimed album Christmas Caravan. Released in 2017 Christmas Caravan charted at #6 on Billboard’s World Music Chart and delivers musical harmony with its diverse sound. Co-produced by bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool, along with John “Beetle” Bailey who has been nominated by the Canadian Folk Music Awards as producer of the year for the release (results Dec. 8).

“Sultans of String keeps imaginative imperatives in overdrive for the entirety of Christmas Caravan, a generous pitch for global unity through the music of Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. These five musicians have jubilantly recharged the classics with arrangements that demand attention” – Downbeat

Sultans of String are 3x JUNO nominees/3x CFMA winning ambassadors of musical diversity. In 2017 they were recognized by the Folk Music Ontario Awards who honored Chris McKhool and Richard Bona with The Songs From the Heart Folk Music from Around the World Award for their song “Sing For Kwanzaa” from Christmas Caravan.

one is hard-pressed to recall anything quite like Christmas Caravan by Canada’s iconic ensemble the Sultans of String” World Music Report

On Christmas Caravan you with find collaborations with 6x Grammy winning Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains), Ruben Blades & Luba Mason (Panamanian 7 Grammy and 5 Latin Grammy Award winner), platinum-selling jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, 2x JUNO/Grammy Winner Alex Cuba, Benoit Bourque of Quebec’s Bottine Souriante (3x JUNOs, 4x Gold, 3x Platinum records), Sweet Honey in the Rock (Grammy winning all-woman, African-American a cappella group), Cameroon’s Richard Bona (Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock), Canada’s singer to the stars Rebecca Campbell (Emmylou Harris, Alanis Morissette), singer Mary Fahl from NYC’s October Project, a recording collective of Turkish Roma violinists in Istanbul, Sudanese-Canadian singer Waleed Abdulhamid, Nashville-based JUNO Award winning country singer Crystal Shawanda, sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid, and hang drum player David Charrier from France.

See them at the following venues across Canada and the US:

Oct 14 – Bluffton, OH – Bluffton Townhall Concert Series
Oct 18 – Terrebonne, QC Chapelle du Collège Saint-Sacrement / Trio
Oct 19 – Gorham, NH – Medallion Opera House
Oct 20 – Gorham, NH – Medallion Opera House (10 am for young audiences)
Oct 21 – L’Assomption, QC – Theatre Hector-Charland / Quartet
Nov 1 – El Dorado, CA – El Dorado County Community Concerts
Nov 2 – Auburn, CA – Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (10 am & 1 pm for young audiences)
Nov 2 – Auburn, CA – Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center – evening show
Nov 3 – Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s
Nov 4 – Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s (10:30 am for young audiences)
Nov 22 – Owen Sound ON – Heartwood Hall
Nov 24 – Utopia ON – Utopia Hall
Nov 25 – Kitchener ON – Registry Theatre
Nov 29 – Invermere BC – Pynelogs Cultural Centre-Columbia Valley Arts
Dec 1 and 2 – Cranbrook BC – Symphony of the Kootenays
Dec 3 – Golden BC – Kicking Horse Culture
Dec 4 – Trail BC – Charles Bailey Theatre
Dec 5 – Vancouver BC – Centennial Theatre
Dec 7 – Maple Ridge BC – ACT Arts Centre
Dec 12 – Picton ON – Regent Theatre
Dec 13 – Markham ON – Flato Markham Theatre
Dec 14 – Sudbury ON – Collège Boréal Concert Hall
Dec 15 – Welland ON – Welland-Port Colborne Concert Assn
Dec 16 – London ON – Aeolian Hall
Dec 17 – Lindsay ON – Academy Theatre
Dec 18 – Ottawa ON – NAC Studio Theatre
Dec 19 – Bellows Falls VT – Stone Church Center
Dec 20 – Norfolk CT – Infinity Hall
Dec 21 – Stroudsburg PA – Chester Concerts
Dec 22 – Boston MA – Extended Play Sessions
Dec 23 – Cazenovia NY – Catherine Cummings Theater

Christmas Caravan was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.  We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario. This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

www.sultansofstring.com
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring
www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
www.instagram.com/sultansofstring

Dana Gordon at Independent Music Media at HiDanaGirl@aol.com / #213-864-2690

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