Sultans of String Visit SUNY Geneseo

The Sultans of String will serve up their feast of raucous reels, ragas ‘n’ rumbas at SUNY Geneseo’s Limelights & Accents on Saturday, November 11 at 7 p.m.

Joining them on stage is special guest/sitar master Anwar Khurshid (whose music is featured in the Oscar winning “Life of Pi”).  They’ll also have advance copies of their new, festive offering “Christmas Caravan” in tow.

Touring non-stop across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, this “energetic and exciting band, with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine) serve up a musical passport of Celtic reels, Gypsy-jazz, South Asian, 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.

Sultans of String have hit #1 across Canada on Top 10 national radio charts, #6 on Billboard (world music), top 10 on CMJ (world), and received multiple awards and accolades, including 1st place in the ISC (out of 15,000 entries), 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards, a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for bandleader Chris McKhool, plus invitations to perform/record with such luminaries as The Chieftains, Sweet Honey In The Rock, and David Bromberg.

The band is led by 5-string violinist McKhool (Jesse Cook, Pavlo) who was raised in a Lebanese-Egyptian household just bursting with music and diversity. Growing up, Chris was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality alongside Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons. At the core of the band’s sound is his bold and fiery fiddle, melded seamlessly with founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) rumba rhythm. Together their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. Added to this rich foundation is bass master Drew Birston, jaw-dropping Cuban percussionist Chendy Leon, and sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid.

The band’s US manager and acclaimed promoter David Wilkes (Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris) states, “Over the decades, I’ve worked with numerous top ten and #1 Billboard artists. In all that time, I have not worked with composers more talented than Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté from Sultans of String. Not only are they a superb writing team, they are also amazing arrangers and performers”.

Sultans of String have been criss-crossing North America for the last several years at many taste-making forums such as NYC’s legendary Birdland, Boston’s Scullers and California’s hip music scene including the San Jose Jazz Festival. They recently sold out Koerner Hall (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall), and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Stratford, Ontario and Niagara Symphony Orchestras, as well with Kingsfield POPS in Maine and Maryland’s Annapolis Symphony. Sultans of String were filmed by MPBN’s Maine Arts! in a feature concert, and have performed live on BBC TV, BBC Radio, Irish National Radio, and the internationally syndicated shows WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington.

Click on videos below to get a taste of Sultans of String.

For more information about SUNY Geneseo’s Limelights & Accents, call 585-245-5873 or visit

Visit for more information about the band.

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