Mississauga Symphony Orchestra collaborates with Sultans of String

The Mississauga Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the Sultans of String for an evening of Celtic reels, flamenco, gypsy-jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. The show takes place February 8 at the Living Arts Centre.

Sultans of String thrill audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, Flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic, and Cuban rhythms, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar, while funky bass and shimmering sitar lay down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.

Since forming over 10 years ago, Sultans of String’s music has hit #6 on Billboard’s world music charts, #1 across Canada on Top 10 national radio charts, and landed the New York Times Christmas Hits list. They’ve also received multiple awards and accolades, including 1st place in the ISC (out of 15,000 entries), four Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (for bandleader Chris McKhool). They have also performed/recorded with such luminaries as The Chieftains, Alex Cuba, Sweet Honey in The Rock, and Ruben Blades.

McKhool (ancestral name Makhoul) has an Egyptian-born mother who happened to play piano, teach classical theory, and feed her young son as much Middle Eastern cuisine as she did musical knowledge. From there, the powerful violinist developed a taste for multi-genre string sounds and found a like-minded crew of all-world enthusiasts.

Sultans of String have been crisscrossing North America and UK for the last several years at many taste-making forums such as JUNOfest, NYC’s legendary club Birdland, Boston’s Scullers, and London’s Trafalgar Square. They recently sold out Toronto’s Carnegie Hall, and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Stratford, Ontario, and Niagara Symphony Orchestras. Sultans of String have also been featured on MPBN’s Maine Arts!, and performed live on BBC TV, BBC Radio, Irish National Radio, and internationally syndicated shows like WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington. His 1978 album ‘Dream of a Child’ became the first quadruple platinum-selling album by a Canadian artist.

Special guests include Anwar Khurshid, an internationally recognized sitar master whose music has been featured in the Oscar-winning film, Life of Pi, and Shannon Thunderbird, a proud descendant of the northern British Columbia Coast Tsimshian People and well-known storyteller and singer/songwriter.

The 90-musician Mississauga Symphony Orchestra is designated as one of Mississauga’s six pillars of arts, culture and heritage. The orchestra offers entertaining and increasingly sophisticated programs from the classic and popular repertoires of symphonic music, all performed to the highest artistic standards. Based out of Hammerson Hall, a world-class performing arts facility located within the Living Arts Centre, the MSO provides performance opportunities and personal development to talented amateurs while combining the strands of excellence and education by assisting young professional performers and composers through solo performance opportunities, commissions and mentoring. The MSO can be found online at: mississaugasymphony.ca; on Facebook at: facebook.com/mississaugasymphony; on Instagram at: @MSymph, and on Twitter at: @MSymph.

Visit livingartscentre.ca for more details.

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