The Sultans of String are returning to Kimberley’s Centre 64 for a concert on Wednesday, April 5. They last performed at Centre 64 in January 2009, following a concert for schools at the McKim Theatre.
This three time Juno nominee and SiriusXM winning world music group is on the East Kootenay section of a cross-Canada tour showcasing their latest release, Subcontinental Drift, which has been nominated for the 2017 JUNO World Music Album of the Year.
The tour will take them from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic with a dip into the U.S., provided band leader Chris McKhool doesn’t get stopped at the border, given his Lebanese-Egyptian heritage in this Donald Trump era.
The Sultans are described as “an energetic and exciting band with talent to burn!” by the UK’s Maverick Magazine. They certainly thrilled the Kimberley audience when they performed here 8 years ago with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, Spanish flamenco, French Manouche gypsy-jazz, Arabic folk, and Cuban and South Asian rhythms. And at that time they had only been together for two years. Imagine what they must be like now! And for this tour the band is joined by the world famous sitar player, Anwar Khurshid, who was featured in the Oscar-winning film Life of Pi.
The band is composed of leader Chris McKhool on violin, Kevin Laliberté on guitar, Drew Birston on bass, and Chendy Leon, percussion. Together they produce a musical fusion that bridges cultures. ‘Fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar, while bass and percussion lay down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound’. So says their publicist and I believe him or her, remembering the excitement of their previous performance here. Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary put it more simply: “Sensational set. Loved it.”
Since forming 10 years ago, Sultans of String’s music has hit #1 across Canada on world music charts, debuted on Billboard, and received multiple awards and accolades, including 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition out of 15,000 entries, 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool.
Sultans of String have been criss-crossing North America for the last several years, appearing at JUNOFest, legendary jazz club Birdland in NYC, the San Jose Jazz Festival, and selling out at Toronto’s Koerner Hall. The band has performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Stratford, Ontario and Niagara Symphony Orchestras, and with the Kingsfield POPS in Maine. Sultans of String were recently filmed by MPBN’s Maine Arts! in a feature concert, and have performed live on BBC television, Irish National Radio, and other international media.
You can get to see them live in the Theatre at Centre 64 starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. But you’d better get your ticket soon as they are selling well and there are only 125 seats available. It will be a great show, take my word for it, and you won’t want to miss it – unless you’re a country music fan, of course, in which case this might not be up your street!
Tickets are available at Centre 64 (250-427-4919) or firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can get them online at eastkootenaysnapd.com.