Sultans of String
“An organic mix of rumba, Gypsy, jazz, Middle Eastern and Spanish flavours – they all mix together beautifully… brilliantly executed!” - Errol Nazareth, CBC Radio One
Sultans of String
2010 JUNO Award nominees and “Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity” Sultans of String thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, while world rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance.
The Sultans of String will be performing as a quintet plus Bassam Bishara on oud. Bishara has received several awards including the "Jerusalem Encouragement Award" for his contribution to the revival of cultural heritage; the "Israeli Radio Broadcast Award"; and the "Arab Women Association Award" (London, England) for his role in reconstructing classical and traditional Arabic repertoires. Bishara moved to Canada in 2001. He currently teaches Middle Eastern music at York University and is the music director and composer for Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra.
“A combination of destiny and sensuality. The union of the [two] worlds is magnificently achieved.” - Yves Bernard, Le Devoir
Awarded the 2009 OPUS Prize for “Jazz and World Music Album of the Year”, followed by various nominations, including the Canadian Folk Music Awards, OktoEcho explores mixed music and musical sounds through unique compositions all its own. An ensemble of 12 musicians under the Artistic Direction of composer Katia Makdissi-Warren, OktoEcho thrusts the listener into a sonic world brimming with hope, aspiration and lyricism found in that incredible interlude between the Middle East and the West.
“Sensual … dignified … an inspired choice” - The National Post, Toronto
An acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Julie Nesrallah dazzles audiences with her rich tone, engaging personality and deeply expressive communicative skills and is regularly cast in principal roles by leading opera companies across North America and abroad. Nesrallah is frequently featured on CBC Radio and National Public Radio, and is currently the host of Tempo, CBC Radio 2's flagship national classical music program. She has been the recipient of many distinguished awards & prizes including the Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Award & Mid-Career Grant. She has also been invited to sing for several high profile events including the Opera Canada Awards honouring great Canadian achievement in opera, and An Evening for Peace in Montreal for Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.
“Khalil has a gorgeous, romantic arching sound that immediately commands the ear. Hers is truly a beautiful and distinctive voice.” - Opera Canada
Proving herself to be one of Canada’s rising young sopranos, Miriam Khalil is praised for her stage presence and her distinctive vocal tone, she is described as being “a lush lyric with spinto overtones” (Opera Canada). In 2007, she won first place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions for the Great Lakes Region. She is also a previous member of both The Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme. In 2013-2014, she is singing at a French and Spanish Art Song recital in Toronto, as well as making her debut with both the Ottawa Choral Society and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.