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Sultans Of String release 'Asi Soy' video / Cashbox Magazine Canada

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Internationally awarded and honoured Canadian quintet Sultans of String collaborates with over 30 musicians on Refuge, including Yasmin Levy, Béla Fleck, Robi Botos, Ifrah Mansour, Demetrios Petsalakis, Imad Al Taha, Amir Amiri, Sammy Figueroa, Twin Flames, and many others on the wide-ranging treatise on displaced peoples, Refuge.

On this visionary seventh album, Sultans of String bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on 13 songs that speak to the challenges facing the world's displaced peoples--their stories, their songs, their persistence and their humanity.

On track #11, Asi Soy (This is Me), the band combined songwriting with Yasmin Levy, an acclaimed Israeli artist known for her twist on Sephardic songs. The musical tradition came from her father who recorded and preserved folk songs in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language that emerged in the territories of the ancient Ottoman Empire after Jews were exiled from Spain in 1492. "Being able to work with Yasmin Levy on this song was a distinct honour." says composer, bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool. "She is a true artist who pours her passion into every song she sings. We wrote the music and Yasmin wrote the lyrics, which was a great way to combine both our efforts to create a beautiful piece that speaks to the human condition."

Says Yasmin Levy, of Sephardic descent: "I am proud to combine the two cultures of Ladino and flamenco while mixing in Middle Eastern influences. I am embarking on a 500-year-old musical journey, taking Ladino to Andalusia and mixing it with flamenco, the style that still bears the musical memories of the old Moorish and Jewish-Spanish world with the sound of the Arab world. In a way, it is a ‘musical reconciliation' of history."