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FYC – Christmas Caravan by Sultans of String

FYC – Christmas Caravan by Sultans of String


October 18, 2018

To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services



Sultans of String News

FYC – Christmas Caravan on the Grammy Ballot!

Hello Friends, we just wanted to share the good news that our Sultans of String album Christmas Caravan landed on the Grammy Ballot today.


If you’re a voting member of the Recording Academy, we ask for your consideration, and hope to have your help to get us into the Final Top 5 Nominees. We’re really proud of this album and would appreciate it if you could share it with your fellow NARAS members. The Grammy ballot is now live and must be received by the Academy by October 31.

And of course come see us perform live: http://sultansofstring.com/calendar/

Listen online herehttps://sultansofstring.lnk.to/THc3VWE 
Watch Turkish Greensleeves here: https://youtu.be/kIBRBPF7Gw0 
Watch EPK here: https://youtu.be/Lwpk_XRnKNw


Best World Music Album  
Sultans of String – Christmas Caravan


This follows our great trajectory with this album that hit Billboard World Music Charts for three weeks, and was featured in the New York Times Christmas Hits List!

Christmas Caravan takes listeners on a world music tour. 3-time JUNO nominees and 3-time CFMA winning ambassadors of musical diversity Sultans of String have expanded the traditional notion of Christmas music with their new, genre-hopping disc, Christmas Caravan, injecting it with new-found energy and non-traditional sounds. Recorded and co-produced with JUNO Award winning engineer John ‘”Beetle” Bailey, this isn’t your typical holiday album. You may recognize a few titles, but you’ve never experienced seasonal music quite like this before.

“Canadian band 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, USA

“An amazing world beat Christmas where even the tried and true is taken to such new and amazing lengths. Very hot stuff clearly made to chase the cold winter away” 
Midwest Record, USA

Sultans of String’s acclaimed world music tapestry has been amplified on this release through its embrace of orchestration and pop, and spurred on by a stellar cast of guest musicians, bringing even more colour to their lively palette.

“We wanted to make a real contribution to the Christmas repertoire, and hopefully create some new standards” says bandleader/violinist and Queens Diamond Jubilee recipient Chris McKhool. “This is a Christmas album, but 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 the grandeur of the symphony.”


First, the band made a dream list of their favourite vocal and instrumental artists to join in on this musical sleigh ride. Their holiday wish came true with these amazing guests appearing on the recording:

• 6-time Grammy winning Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains),
• Ruben Blades & Luba Mason (Panamanian 7 Grammy and 5 Latin Grammy winner),
• platinum-selling jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky;
• 2-time JUNO/Grammy winner Alex Cuba;
• Benoit Bourque of Quebec’s La Bottine Souriante (3 JUNOs, 4 gold, 3 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;
• Gundem Yayli Grubu, 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.

Why make a Christmas album for a band that has earned its street cred on performing music from diverse cultures? 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 we created the spiritual Christmas album I have always wanted to hear that honoured this tradition, as well as bringing in diverse cultures. As a violin player, I also performed with string orchestras in my youth, so the icing on the cake was traveling to Prague to record with the City of Prague Symphony Orchestra! One of my favourite tracks, Jesous Ahatonhia (The Huron Carol), is fascinating to me. I went back into the archives and found a direct transliteration of the original Huron-Wendat lyrics, which were written in the 1600s by St Jean de Brebeuf. This is Canada’s first Christmas carol, and while there are some complex issues around this song, it is of great historical significance. Now people can hear the intent of the original lyrics for the very first time. Ojibwe artist Crystal Shawanda vocal is so compelling on this song!”


Thanks to our supporters!

Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and FACTOR.. MANY THANKS!

Fontana North (CA) / CEN Sony-RED (US) / Proper (EU)


Upcoming shows

  • 18 Oct 2018 Terrebonne, QC Chapelle du Collège Saint-Sacrement Tickets
  • 19 Oct 2018 Gorham, NH Medallion Opera House Tickets
  • 20 Oct 2018 Gorham, NH Medallion Opera House Tickets
  • 20 Oct 2018 Beloeil, QC Centre Culturel de Beloeil Tickets
  • 21 Oct 2018 L’Assomption, QC Theatre Hector-Charland Tickets
  • View complete calendar




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