by Jarrett Hoffman
Someday, somewhere, a genre will be coined that sums up the sound of the Sultans of String. The Toronto-based group frequently blends Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk music, Cuban rhythms, and jazz. In the meantime, as bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool told us in a 2013 interview, “We just make the music we like to make.”
Three-time Juno Award nominees, the Sultans’ lineup ranges from two to five members, sometimes topped off with guest artists. But at their core is the pairing of violin and guitar — McKhool and Kevin Laliberté, founders of the ensemble. They’ll bring the duo form of Sultans of String to Nighttown on Wednesday, May 30 at 7:00 pm. The concert celebrates the group’s tenth anniversary, and will raise funds for displaced families in Syria and Lebanon through the Outreach Foundation.
McKhool picked up the phone in Burlington, Ontario for our recent conversation, then worked some modern magic — a three-way call — to bring in Laliberté from his kitchen in Toronto. They began by looking back on the beginning of their collaboration.