Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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McKhool, Christopher (George)

McKhool, Christopher (George), violinist, guitarist, singer-songwriter, composer; b. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 18 November 1968.  Born to Eli (b. 1931) and pianist and piano teacher Roberte McKhool (b. Roberte Nehma, 1935), brother to Greg (1963) and Ingrid (1967).

2009 JUNO AWARD Nominee McKhool had violin lessons from age 7, and studied classical violin under the tutelage of Joan Milkson of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from 1977 to 1985. He performed with the National Capital String Academy from 1982-85. He taught himself folk guitar at age 16. He lived in Ottawa until 1985 when he moved to Montreal where he studied at McGill University, obtaining a B.A. in Psychology. McKhool moved to Toronto, ON, in 1993. He attended jazz classes at York University in Toronto 1999/2000, and studied independently with Frank Falco and Gene Dinovi, as well as some of the great jazz string players of his time such as John Blake Jr. and the Turtle Island String Quartet.

McKhool has recorded and performed with several jazz performers and groups including Sultans of String, Jesse Cook, Amanda Martinez, Pavlo, Club Django, Kevin Laliberte, Drew Birston, Kevin Barrett, Jordan Klapman, Ron Davis, Doug Banwell, Adam David and George Grosman.

In 2004 Chris co-founded the world-jazz-flamenco group Sultans of String. Their debut CD Luna rose to #1 across Canada on Top Ten national radio charts, and won the award for Best Variety Act from Festivals & Events Ontario in 2008. 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. Their second CD “Yalla Yalla!” is nominated for the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards (Ensemble of the Year / Instrumental Group of the Year / Pushing The Boundaries).

Sultans of String includes such musical guests as: guitarists Kevin Laliberte and Eddie Paton, bassists Drew Birston and David Woodhead, percussionist Chendy Leon, and guest vocalists Amanda Martinez (Latin) & Maryem Tollar (Arabic). Touring as a trio to quintet, McKhool draws from this collective of master musicians to bring Sultans of String to jazz, folk, classical and family audiences around the world including the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, the Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa ON and the Broadway Center for the Arts in Tacoma WA.

McKhool also enjoys an international career as a singer-songwriter for young audiences. He has traveled around the world with his music, performing across Canada and the U.S., as well as Cuba, India, Costa Rica, Indonesia and England. He has performed with some of the greats of children's music, sharing the stage with Ernie Coombes (Mr. Dressup) and Sharon, Lois & Bram. He has performed for almost 1,000,000 youth and continues to play over 150 concerts a year with concert shows. In 2008 he released the 2009 JUNO nominated FiddleFire!, a jazz influenced CD for young audiences, including songs he has performed at The Art of Jazz Festival, The Beaches International Jazz Festival, The Distillery Jazz festival, and as a regular guest and feature performer at JAZZ.FM studios in Toronto.

Sultans of String: Luna (2007); Sultans of String: Yalla Yalla! (2009);
Chris McKhool: FiddleFire! (2008) (for young audiences)

As sideperson:
Sixty Second Songs (compilation 2002); Jack Grunsky: Sing & Dance (2000); Paul Lamoureux: Zing Zing-a-Zing!; Martin Springett: Bright Weaving; Mike Ford: Stars Shone on Toronto; Danny Bakan: And the Truth is Spectacular

Radio and television broadcasts:
- TVOntario (Toronto, 1994, 95) interview and performance
- Mr. Dressup, CBC TV national broadcast (Toronto, 1995) featuring McKhool
performing five original compositions - Roger's 22 Cable (Ottawa, 1995 and 1998) interview and performance
- City TV: Breakfast Television performances (Toronto, 1997)
- YTV Treehouse (Toronto, 1996) interview and performance
- Inside Quebec feature (Quebec City T.V. Magazine show) interview and performance (Quebec City, ca. 1998)
- CIUT Radio, "Songs of Hope" (Toronto, 1998-99) interviews and performances
- Shaw Television feature program "Watershed" on McKhool's songs and performances (Toronto, 2000)
- Hospital For Sick Children Televised Concert (1997)
- CBC Radio's "This Morning" (Toronto, 2001, Canada-wide broadcast) radio interview and performance
- CKCU Radio (Ottawa, 2002) interview and performance
- CBC Radio Two: Canada Live recording and broadcast of Sultans of String CD release (2007, repeat 2008)
- CHIN Radio Live- interview and disk spins (Oct 29, 2007)
- CBC Radio Two: Studio Sparks interview and performance (Nov. 1, 2007)
- CTV’s CanadaAM: Live performance with Sultans of String
- Thatradio.com Live interview (Jan 17, 2008)
- Radio Canada International Interview (Jan 11, 2008)
- JAZZ.FM 91.1 live interview with Benmergui in the Morning (Feb 12, 2008)

Awards with Sultans of String:
• 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominees (Ensemble of the Year / Instrumental Group of the Year / Pushing The Boundaries)
• 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner- Instrumental
• 2008 Canadian Independent Music Awards Finalists- Favourite World Music Band
• 2008 International Independent Music Awards Finalists- Best World Fusion Song
• 2007 Musique du Monde Award
• 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award nominees – Best Instrumentalist Group
• 2007 Ontario Independent Music Award winner- Best Song
• 2007 Ontario Independent Music Award winner- Best Instrumental
• 2007 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Award Winner- Best Latin Jazz Group
• 2007 Toronto Independent Music Award nominees - World Music Category
• 2006 Ontario Council of Folk Festivals - Songs of the Heart Competition Finalist - World Music Category
• 2006 Toronto Independent Music Awards Nominees - Best Instrumental Band

Other Awards:
• 2009 JUNO Award Nominee for FiddleFire!
• 2009 Parents’ Choice Award for FiddleFire!
• 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee with Fiddlefire!
• 2005 Green Toronto Award of Excellence
• 2004 National Jazz Awards nomination as part of Club Django, Trad.

• 2004 CIUT-FM Award for Outstanding Musical Accompanist
• 2009 iParenting Media Award with Fiddlefire!
• 2009Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best of 2009 with Fiddlefire!

Contact information:
Chris McKhool
76 Lyall Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M4E 1W3
(416) 469-3180
N.A. Toll Free: 1-800-MCKHOOL


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