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Sultans of String releases 'El Bint El Shalabeya' from upcoming REFUGE album / CASHBOX CANADA

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El Bint El Shalabeya

Over the past dozen years and six albums, McKhool and his bandmates - co-founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté, bassist Drew Birston, Cuban percussionist Rosendo ‘Chendy' Leon and second guitarist Eddie Paton - have excelled at both. Thrilling listeners around North America with their genre-hopping fusion of Celtic reels, flamenco, Gypsy jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, Sultans of String celebrate diversity and creativity with warmth and virtuosity. And they often do it with artists such as Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains, Richard Bona, Benoit Bourque (Bottine Souriante), Nikki Yanofsky, Alex Cuba, Ruben Blades, Crystal Shawanda and Ken Whiteley.

This newly released track "El Bint El Shalabeya" reinvents an ancient traditional Lebanese song, bringing in Syrian refugee Majd Sekkar, Algerian mandole player Fethi Nadjem, and Greek oud player Demetrios Petsalakis, who all now find their home in Canada. It is from the upcoming album REFUGE (releasing March 20, 2020), a project that is "centred around the positive contributions of refugees and new immigrants to U.S.A./Canada," says bandleader Chris McKhool, whose Lebanese grandfather stowed away on a ship bound for North America a century ago. "We are bringing in guests that are newcomers to this land, as well as global abassadors for peace".

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