Sanctuary – The Refuge Project is the highly anticipated 8th album from Sultans of String and the second installment in their Refuge Project. The first, simply entitled Refuge, was heralded as “a fantastic, moving, dreamlike, epic, timely album.” – Ken Micallef (Jazz Times, Stereophile, Downbeat) and won many awards including Producer of the Year at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards for bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool.
This ambitious, diverse, inclusive and passionately political album puts the band face-to-face with a VIP roster of global ‘ambassadors’, some of whom are recent immigrants and refugees to Canada, as well as important Indigenous voices. All are masters of world music that communicate with each other through the global language of sound.
Addressing the struggles of life on Mother Earth has always inspired Toronto-based quintet, Sultans of String. On Sanctuary, Sultans of String bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on 11 songs that speak to the challenges facing the world’s displaced peoples–their stories, their songs, their persistence and their humanity.
Joined by an international cast, some of whom are recent immigrants to North America, the celebrated quartet immerses themselves in the plight of the international refugee on Refuge, and the humanitarian response that should greet everyone in search of a home.
Bandleader Chris McKhool explains “The larger Refuge Project is centred around the positive contributions of refugees and new immigrants to Canada. We are bringing in special guests who are newcomers to this land, as well as global talents that have been ambassadors for peace. We wish to celebrate the successes of those who make the journey here, and bring their extraordinary talents with them, in this case, music. Each one of us has a remarkable story to tell, and we are excited to share the beauty of these collaborations with you.”
Sanctuary features seven new tracks with stellar performances by Tara and Ahmed Moneka from Iraq, Amchok Gompo from Tibet, Donné Roberts from Madagascar with partner Yukiko Tsutsui from Japan, Algeria’s Fethi Nadjem, Juan Carlos Medrano, Syrian refugee Leen Hamo, Iran’s Padideh Ahrarnejad, Nyckelharpa player Saskia Tomkins, and also includes three stunning new versions of songs off Refuge. These include an astonishingly gorgeous orchestral version of “The Power of the Land” featuring Indigenous performers Duke Redbird and Twin Flames, Turkish mega-pop star Suat Suna singing Hurricane, and flamenco dancer and singer Tamar Ilana singing a version of “Así Soy” that will rip your heart out.
Chris’ own grandfather came to North America as a stowaway on a ship in the early 1900s from LEBANON and his pianist mother is from EGYPT. The band features percussionist Rosendo ‘Chendy’ León who came to North America as a refugee from CUBA, as well as the fabulous Kevin Laliberté and Drew Birston!
November 5, 2021: Sanctuary – Full album release [Physical & Digital]
WHO IS ON SANCTUARY?
Ahmed Moneka – IRAQ / CAN
Amchok Gompo – TIBET / CAN
Donné Roberts – MADAGASCAR / CAN
Duke Redbird – FIRST NATION INDIGENOUS
Fethi Nadjem – Algeria / CAN
Gundem Yayli Grubu – TURKEY
Juan Carlos Medrano – COLOMBIA / CAN
Leen Hamo – SYRIA / CAN
Marito Marques – PORTUGAL / CAN
Meg Contini – CAN
Mehmet Akatay – TURKEY
Padideh Ahrarnejad – IRAN / CAN
Ravi Naimpally – INDIA / CAN
Rosendo Chendy Leon – CUBA / CAN
Sammy Figueroa – PUERTO RICO / USA
Saskia Tomkins – ENGLAND / CAN
Selcuk Suna – TURKEY / CAN
Suat Suna – TURKEY
Tamar Ilana – CAN
Tara Moneka – IRAQ / CAN
Twin Flames – INDIGENOUS CAN
Yukiko Tsutsui – JAPAN / CAN
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Source: LW Communications