CBC Saskatchewan

  | Bookmark and Share

Ten Days at the Lake

lake.jpgJoin us for dee Hobsbawn-Smith's suite of poems exploring lake as state of mind, plus a house concert with the Sultans of String, Canada's ambassadors of musical diversity.



Photo by Axel-D











Sultans of String romp through an energized adventure of Latin, Gypsy-jazz, Middle Eastern and folk rhythms, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. World rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance. Sultans of String have been called "groundbreaking...virtuoso...boundary pushing... infectious...visionary... brilliant...and absolutely stunning!" (The Live Music Report). Their debut CD Luna soared to # 1 across Canada on Top Ten national radio charts, and won the award for Best Variety Act from Festivals & Events Ontario. They were finalists in the Toronto, Ontario, Canadian and International Independent Music Awards, winning both the best song and best instrumental categories for the 2007 Ontario Independent Music Awards.

Six-string violinist and bandleader Chris McKhool grew up in a house bursting with music and diversity. His paternal Makhoul grandparents immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in the early 1900's. His Egyptian-born mother is a piano and theory teacher. Growing up Chris was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality along with Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons. From a very young age Chris was taught the Canadian values of tolerance, respect for all peoples and celebration of culture. His passion for exploring the rhythms and melodies has led him to the far corners of the world, collecting instruments and styles everywhere he went. Travels to the Canadian Arctic, Indonesia, France, England, Cuba, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Indian Himalayas to perform and conduct music workshops have added to his depth of musical and spiritual understanding of our global community. Chris has also guest starred internationally with Jesse Cook, Pavlo, Amanda Martinez and Club Django.

 When Chris first heard founding guitarist Kevin Lalibert√©'s rumba rhythm their musical mind-meld created the Sultans of String's sound - the intimate and playful relationship between violin and the flamenco guitar.  Together, they  are the core of a band that has created the undefinable but instantly recognizable Sultans of String sound.  The pair have collaborated with many talented musical friends over the years, and for this concert bass player Drew Birston completes the trio.

This performance took place at a beautiful home in Regina's Hillsdale neighbourhood. This house concert was part of the Home Routes concert series. Home Routes has the lofty goal of bringing world class musicians into the comfortable intimacy of people's homes. It's a wonderfully satisfying experience to attend an intimate concert like this one featuring a multiple award-winning and Juno nominated group of such fine quality.


Listen to the whole Sultans of String concert again, courtesy of CBC Radio 2's Concerts on Demand


 Watch them on YouTube:













After 27 years in Calgary dee Hobsbawn-Smith re-located to a 100-year-old farmhouse just west of Saskatoon with her partner, the poet and writer Dave Margoshes. In 2010, dee shortlisted for the Malahat Review's Far Horizons Poetry award, and a suite of her poems, girl!talk, came third in the annual Hamilton GritLIT poetry contest. In 2009, she shortlisted for the Far Horizons Short Fiction award and was a runner-up for the Brenda Strathern Late Bloomer Short Fiction Award. Her first short story in print was accepted by The Windsor Review, and will appear in the March 2011 issue. Her poetry has appeared in publications that include Room, Other Voices, The Antigonish Review and a 2010 Canadian anthology titled Pith & Wry (Your Scrivener Press.) She is a (retired) chef and restaurateur, and is an award-winning food writer with publication credits in Canadian and American magazines and newspapers. Dee is working on her fifth food book, titled Foodshed, which will be released in 2012 by TouchWood Editions. Dee has been accepted into the 2011 Saskatchewan Writers` Guild Mentorship Programme in the genre of poetry. She has two sons, two dogs, two cats, and appreciates witty references to The Ark.