Since their formation only four years ago, Sultans of String have been riding a wave of success, from their debut CD “Luna” and second offering “Yalla Yalla,” both hitting number one on international music charts in Canada, to their triple 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, winning Instrumental Group of the Year.
“Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity” include six-string violinist Chris Mckhool who has guest starred with Jesse Cook, guitar wizard Kevin Laliberte (The Chieftains), bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), and the jaw dropping talent of Cuban percussionist Chendy Leon.
Chris Mckhool of the Sultans of String learned to play the violin with standard “off the page” music, but it never fully satisfied his musical tastes. So he began improvising, discovered jazz, and has never looked back. He and friend Kevin Laliberte conceptualized the band about eight years ago. They then brought bass, rhythm guitar and percussionists on for the ride to create a sound which is exotic and multi-faceted. The range of music they play and enjoy is wide, from original works with world music influence to covers of Erik Satie and The Who.
The interactions that take place during live performances are what compel the group to play in front of an audience. Improvisation takes centre stage and everyone goes on a ride that’s both intimate and public at the same time.
They are sure to provide a hot ride on a cool winter’s night in Smithers. Sultans of String are performing at 7:30 p.m. at the Della Herman Theatre on Jan. 23. Tickets are available at Mountain Eagle Books, but they’re selling fast. Adult tickets go for $20, seniors $16 and young get in with $10.