The 32nd Hillside Festival takes place from July 24-26 at beautiful Guelph Lake. As usual, the festival has something for everyone – a great mix of music, fabulous community workshops, a dedicated children’s area, an artisan village and great food… and there are still some weekend and day passes available. Buy Tickets HERE. To learn more about this year’s festival, we caught up with Artistic Director Sam Baijal. For more information, visit hillsidefestival.ca. Music: Michael Franti & Spearhead “Life Is Better” (Acoustic) from “All People” (2013, Boo Boo Wax), Great Lake Swimmers “Don’t Leave Me Hanging” from “A Forest Of Arms” (2015, Network), David Francey “So Say We All” from “So Say We All” (2014, Red House) and The Good Lovelies “Watching TV” from “Burn The Plan” (2015, Six Shooter Records).
The Sultans of String brilliantly blend together Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz musical influences to create a wonderfully rich cinematic sound that is almost intoxicating. The band is lead by 6-string violinist Chris McKhool who grew up in a Lebanese-Egyptian (Makhoul) family and guitarist Kevin Laliberté who write much of the material. Always pushing boundaries, their latest album “Symphony” (2013, Sony/Red) was recorded with a full orchestra while their new release, “Subcontinental Drift” (due in September) will feature sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid. Whether playing as a duo, five piece or with a full orchestra, their live show is something to behold – a fiery violin dances with a rumba-flamenco guitar while a bass lays down a funky unstoppable world rhythm groove that can’t help but bring a smile to your face as an irresistible urge forces you to get involved whether that is by clapping along or getting up to dance. They’re out on the festival circuit this summer including a visit to the Hillside Festival on July 26. We caught up with Chris McKhool at home in Toronto. For more information visit sultansofstring.com. Music: Sultans of String “Road to Kfarmishki”, “Josie” (excerpt), “Luna” (excerpt) and “Monti’s Revenge” (excerpt) from “Symphony” (2013, Sony/Red).