about dawud

“Wharnsby’s message is substantive, and his vocals are compelling,
similar in style to Peter Yarrow and Paul Simon.”
~ Dallas Morning News

Canadian born poet and songwriter Dawud Wharnsby began sharing his songs with audiences as a street performer in his late teens.  Over two decades later, his career as a troubadour has yielded a string of fifteen solo albums, five poetry anthologies, numerous sound-track credits, performances in some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and collaborations with several celebrated artists (including Hadiqa KianiZain Bhikha, bassist Danny Thompson, Juno Award winning Stephen Fearing and Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame inductee Yusuf/Cat Stevens).

In true folk-music tradition, Wharnsby’s songs have taken on a life of their own ~ spreading around the world, ringing out in primary schools, universities, places of worship, rallies and conventions ~ with words that have found their way into listener’s hearts, regardless of age.

As a voice for the socially-conscious and spiritually-motivated, Dawud’s poetry, songs, articles and intimate live performances have inspired a generation of educators, musicians, poets, artists and professionals.

Within sacred-music circles, Wharnsby is often cited as a pioneer in the composition of English hymns, inspired by Qur’anic spirituality.  His work has been referenced in textbook publications affiliated with Harvard University in the USA, as well as Oxford University and Cambridge University Press in the United Kingdom.

His universalist approach to religion keeps Dawud actively engaged with musical inter-faith initiatives and peace efforts world-wide.  As a member of the Abraham Jam ensemble, Dawud and friends David LaMotte and Billy Jonas use song to celebrate mutual support and respect between Abrahamic traditions.  In his hometown, Dawud is a collaborator with the Inshallah Singers  and co-leader of Inshallah Kids ~ community song projects focusing on songs of peace and justice.

Dawud manages his own music publishing company and independent label, which help fund his ongoing work and support an endowment for the Al Imtiaz Academy, a school in Pakistan directly overseen by his family.

In recent years Dawud Wharnsby has become a strong advocate of Simple Living and traditional trades.  He resides with his family in Kitchener, Canada where he experiments with urban farming, continues to write, record and also performs as an educational puppeteer.

“Thinking globally, but acting locally”, Dawud Wharnsby spends as much time these days humming with his back-yard bee-hives, as he does out on the road, singing with humans.

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