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Genre: Documentary

Duration: 93 Minutes

Sultans of String: The Refuge Project

Join us for a Q&A after the film with Director/Writer/Producer Chris McKhool

Mixed in full Dolby Atmos, this ambitious, diverse, inclusive, and passionately political film puts NY Times and Billboard-charting world music supergroup Sultans of String face-to-face with a VIP roster of global ‘ambassadors,’ some of whom are recent immigrants and refugees to Canada and the U.S., as well as essential Indigenous voices. All are masters of world music that communicate with each other through the global language of music.

Addressing the struggles of life on Mother Earth has always inspired Sultans of String. In The Refuge Project – Visual Album, these 3x JUNO Award nominees bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on discussion and 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, this three-time JUNO nominated band immerses themselves in the plight of the international refugee, 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 that 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.”

The Refuge Project features stellar performances by Ahmed Moneka and Imad Al Taha, refugees from Iraq, Syrian refugee Leen Hamo, Donné Roberts from Madagascar with partner Yukiko Tsutsui from Japan, Algeria’s Fethi Nadjem, Colombian refugee Juan Carlos Medrano, Iran’s Padideh Ahrarnejad, Romani Nyckelharpa player Saskia Tomkins, tabla player Ravi Naimpally from India,sitar player Anwar Khurshid from Pakistan, string ensemble Gundem Yayli Grubu from Istanbul, and many, many more, including an orchestral version of “The Power of the Land” featuring Indigenous performers Duke Redbird and Twin Flames.

“The true inspiration behind this album is the incredible artists we get to collaborate with,” says McKhool. “We learn so much from these diverse voices, and each one of them is so personally inspiring. As Ahmed Moneka, an artist and refugee from Iraq says, ‘Love is the main reason for a great future,” and we are so privileged to be able to collaborate with so many incredible voices on this project.”

“Energetic and exciting music fest from a band with talent to burn… the very epitome of world music: no boundaries, no rules!” – Maverick Music Magazine, UK


JUNO Award nominee Chris McKhool is the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards winner for Producer of the Year with Sultans of String album, Refuge. Mckhool, of Lebanese descent, is a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal recipient for his work creating community through music, producing, composing and playing violin with BILLBOARD charting Sultans of String, who’s CDs hit #1 across Canada in the Top Ten International/World Canadian community radio charts, and earned three JUNO Award nominations and three Canadian Folk Music Awards out of eight nominations. He has also composed, recorded and performed with diverse artists including Béla Fleck, Nikki Yanofsky, Jesse Cook, Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains, Pavlo, Alex Cuba, Richard Bona, Ruben Blades, Yasmin Levy, and Ken Whiteley.

In his role as music producer, Mckhool has won Producer of the Year in the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Producer of the Year for the 2020 Independent Music Awards along with co-producer and 2020 JUNO Award winning engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey. With his new music release, Sanctuary, Mckhool travelled from the Six Nations reserve to New York, Istanbul and beyond to craft the sound of an epic culture-spanning album. Equally at home in a concert hall, jazz club or festival setting, Mckhool has brought his compositions to the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in NYC, the renowned Celtic Connections Festival in the U.K. and the San Jose Jazz Festival. He has performed with symphonies across Canada and the U.S., and played live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, World Cafe and SiriusXM in Washington DC.