They're the Sultans . . . the Sultans of String at the Kaslo Jazz Festival
Juno nominees and raucous roots string wizards, Sultans of String, are touring widely in support of their third and aptly-titled CD, MOVE, and hit the sizzlin’ Kaslo Jazz Fest August 2, and local hub, BlueBelle Bistro, August 3.
Known for dizzying roots music jams, polyrhythms and revved up riffs, Sultans of String can’t be pinned down — it’s Sable Island meets the Silk Road, with detours through the Gypsy-Jazz coffeehouses of Eastern Europe, next an East Coast Kitchen Party, then over to the streets of Havana.
Seamlessly traversing diverse themes of heart, place and tradition, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar — throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.
Kicking things off as a dynamic duo playing tiny cafes in 2007, this fiercely talented and hardworking indie act has been on a meteoric rise, with an astonishing number of awards and accolades in tow, and now, invitations to play the world stage and with such legendary artists as The Chieftains (whose very own Paddy Moloney appears on the new “Symphony” disc (Sony).
Their music hit # 1 on world/international music charts in Canada, earned the much coveted JUNO nomination, 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, FEO’s “Entertainer of the Year” Award, and 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries).
Led by six-string violinist and bandleader Chris McKhool grew up in a house bursting with music and diversity. His paternal Makhoul grandparents immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in the early 1900’s. His Egyptian-born mother is a piano and theory teacher. Growing up Chris was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality along with Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons.
From a very young age McKhool was taught the Canadian values of tolerance, respect for all peoples and celebration of culture. His passion for exploring the rhythms and melodies has led him to the far corners of the world, collecting instruments and styles everywhere he went.
Travels to the Canadian Arctic, Indonesia, France, England, Cuba, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Indian Himalayas to perform and conduct music workshops have added to his depth of musical and spiritual understanding of our global community.
They are now represented in the U.S. by acclaimed promoter David Wilkes (Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck).