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Blending different strands of folk, Gypsy jazz and world music, the Sultans of String are bringing their talents to Newfoundland this month. They’re appearing at the Classic Theatre Tuesday.
Grand Falls-Windsor — Fans of the English band Dire Straits probably remember the band’s breakout hit, a jazzy number, “Sultans of Swing,” from the 1980s.
It was a fast, catchy tune with hints of jazz and Middle Eastern exotica, bright guitar work and a strong beat.
That description is certainly appropriate for the band playing at the Classic Theatre: the Sultans of String.
The Canadian group is bringing its unique style of music to the Classic Tuesday.
Audiences may be surprised to see a group that’s not like so many bands on the concert circuit today. Don’t expect to see performers like today’s Canadian bands in the pop or even country scene. Instead, people at the Sultans’ show can expect a heady mix of world, jazz, Latin and folk, all delivered with a style that’s already won them fans around the world.
The Sultans’ music has been described as “raucous roots,” “genre-bending” and a “spicy brew of Spanish flamenco, French Manouche Gypsy jazz, Middle Eastern folk, and Cuban rhythm.”
Their music has not only attracted fans, but award nominations. They’ve been in existence for about three years, but have attracted attention and scored success with their debut CD, Luna, and their second album, “Yalla Yalla.” Both reached No. 1 on on world/international music charts in Canada.
In 2009, the group scored a triple 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, winning Instrumental Group of the Year.
Since then, the Sultans of String were nominated for a Juno for “Yalla Yalla” and landed U.S. representation from promoter David Wilkes (Emmylou Harris, Jesse Cook, Bela Fleck), and booking representation in Australia.
They also garnered a 2010 CMW Indies nomination and took home first place in the International Songwriting Competition.
Members include six-string violinist Chris McKhool, who has guest starred with Jesse Cook and Pavlo, duelling guitar maestros Kevin Laliberté (The Chieftains) and Eddie Paton (Robert Michaels), bassist Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), and Cuban percussionist Chendy Leon.
The show is part of the band’s cross-Canada fundraising tour, with proceeds being donated to ArtsCan Circle (www.artscancircle.ca), a charitable organization dedicated to linking creative artists with Indigenous youth at risk in Canada, and tencouraging self-esteem and creative self-expression through the arts.