Sunday, February 5, 2023: 1:30 PM, Royal Electric

3x JUNO nominees/Billboard charting global ambassadors of musical diversity, Sultans of String, are an “energetic and exciting band with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine, UK). Thrilling audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, Flamenco, django-jazz, Middle Eastern and Cuban rhythms, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar, while bass and percussion lay down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. 

Equally at home in a concert hall, folk and jazz club or festival setting, the Sultans have gigged at JUNOfest, the legendary club Birdland in New York, Celtic Connections Festival (Glasgow) and London’s Trafalgar Square. They have sold out Koerner Hall three times (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall), and performed with the Annapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. They have played live on CBC’s Canada Live, BBC Radio, BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and the syndicated World Café, Woodsongs, and SiriusXM in Washington. Sultans of String’s musicianship and versatility are also showcased in collaborations with such diverse luminaries as Paddy Moloney & The Chieftains, Sweet Honey in The Rock, Richard Bona (Paul Simon), Alex Cuba, Ruben Blades, Yasmin Levy, Benoit Bourque, Béla Fleck, Crystal Shawanda & Ken Whiteley.  

Hillside Inside Special Guests:

Saskia Tomkins

Saskia Tomkins is a British musician and actress, living since 2007 in Ontario. A stellar multi-instrumentalist, she serves up violin, viola, cello and nyckelharpa, seamlessly crossing genres, incl traditional, modern, jazz and classical music. In great demand, she has performed with the likes of The Chieftains, Jimmy Bowskill, Kim Doolittle, Ken Whiteley, and a plethora of other amazing musicians, actors and dancers! Currently she performs with hubby  Steáfán Hannigan as Steáfán & Saskia, the instrumental jazz/roots duo 2ish with Brandon Scott Besharah; the Celtic crossover group Cáirdeas, and the jazz trio Marsala and the Imports.

Andrew Collins

Calling 5x JUNO nominee/7x CFMA winner Andrew Collins a master of the mandolin is the definition of understatement. Garnering a reputation for dynamic, genre-hopping live performances full of energy and captivating vocals, Collins (who sports his own Trio) showcases a dizzying number of styles and instruments on stage. Bending and blending genres, this musical shapeshifter lands somewhere between the re-imagined worlds of Béla Fleck and Newgrass invader, David Grisman. He also appears to live by the old adage, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, likely keeping Collins just ahead of his grasp.

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