Shannon Thunderbird + Sultans of String + Orchestra Soar with New Video and Single “Black Winged Raven”

Black Winged Raven is the new single off the album Walking Through the Fire by Sultans of String. It is a foot-stomping barn burner of a song that celebrates the project with Ts’msyen artist Shannon Thunderbird, who is originally from the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia: Gilut’sau Band of the Royal House of Niis’gumiik, Gispudwada (Orca) Clan. The lyrics are sung in Sm’algyax, with the music beautifully arranged with Sultans of String and the epic strings of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Raven is the culture hero of the Pacific Northwest Indigenous People” explains Shannon, whose fireside chats, lectures, and original music open the minds and hearts of audiences to the rich culture and history of Canada’s Indigenous people. “My sister Kate and I grew up with the stories of Raven. He is a very robust character that our people, the Coast Ts’msyen love and respect – to this day we listen to these stories.”

Raven was responsible for organizing the world that was in chaos at the time “and it led to me writing a tribute to him” Shannon continues “because he is a champion problem solver, and he changed the world through humour, and contemplation and logical action, and he put all of nature in all of the places that we know of today. And we are so excited to play this live with orchestras on this tour!”

Indeed they are performing with Indigenous collaborators from coast to coast to coast, live on stage with Stratford, Niagara, Brantford, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras. “One of the things we have been working on is to increase capacity within Canadian orchestras to include Indigenous voices on stage” says Sultans of String bandleader and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Recipient Chris McKhool.

“This is our first major foray into this rich and important repertoire, with the help of the Sultans” explains Bradley Thachuk, music director of the Niagara Symphony. “We could not be more thrilled to bring this concert to the stage on the weekend of Truth and Reconciliation.”

“The orchestral material is beautifully done,” adds William Rowson, music director of the Stratford Symphony. “We are always looking for ways to have meaningful collaborations with Indigenous artists and this show came as a way to participate with our artistry in a way that feels really great.”

Philip Sarabura of Brantford Symphony agrees with this sentiment: “Arts organisations across Canada are trying to find ways to connect with Indigenous communities, we are really keenly aware that this is something that we should be doing more of” he says, and is excited that “all of the people in our community can come experience this incredible culture, in conjunction with symphony orchestra.”

For this track, Indigenous collaborators Kate Dickson, Marc Meriläinen, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuck and others also join on the chorus of the track, and the other Indigenous collaborators in Walking Through the Fire make cameo appearance in the video, with many more joining for the live concerts.

You can watch it here

2023 Tour – All Tickets Here

With Shannon Thunderbird, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk, Marc Meriläinen (Nadjiwan), and a multimedia extravaganza including Northern Cree, Kendra Tagoona, Tracy Sarazin, Duke Redbird, and more.

Oct 10 – Sudbury Café Heritage – Education & Evening show
Oct 11 – North Bay Capitol Centre
Oct 12 – Timmins Timmins Museum, O’Gorman HS
Oct 13 – Geraldton Geraldton Concert Series
Oct 14 – Thunder Bay Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society
Oct 15 – Dryden Dryden Entertainment Series
Oct 16 – Sioux Lookout Sioux Hudson Entertainment Series
Oct 17 – Red Lake Red Lake Entertainment Series
Oct 18 – Kenora Lake of the Woods Concert Group
Oct 19 – Fort Frances Tour de Fort Entertainment Series
Oct 22 – Burlington Burlington PACw/ Tom Wilson and Din
Oct 23 – Burlington Burlington PAC Education show
Nov 12 – Walkerton Victoria Jubilee Hall


Jan 19 – Ottawa Centrepointe Theatre
Jan 23 – Kingston Kingston Grand Theatre – Education & Evening show
Jan 25 – Brampton Rose Theatre – Education & Evening show
Jan 30 – Guelph River Run Centre Education show
Jan 31 – Guelph River Run Centre Education show
Feb 1 – Guelph River Run Centre – Education & Evening show
Mar 2 – Winnipeg Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Mar 3 – Winnipeg Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
April 15 – Markham Flato Markham Theatre – Education Show
April 16 – Markham Flato Markham Theatre – Education Show