about dawud

 

“My occupation is, to keep life’s balance ~
educate myself at being as self-subsisting as possible,
provide for myself and my family through honest labour,
avoid wastefulness,
remain gracious to others and thankful to a higher power.
Inspired by all that, I write poetry, songs and stories.”

~ dawud wharnsby

 


Inspired by the the age-old use of song to unite people in their common experiences, joys and struggles ~ Canadian born artisan, writer and musician Dawud Wharnsby began sharing his writings as a street performer in his late teens.  Thirty years later, his efforts have yielded over  fifteen albums, five poetry anthologies, numerous sound-track credits, performances in some of the world’s most notorious theatres and collaborations with several celebrated artists.

In time-honoured, community/folk-music custom, Wharnsby’s songs have taken on lives of their own over the years.  His melodies can be heard ringing out around the world in primary schools, universities, places of worship, rallies, conventions and sing-a-longs ~ his lyrics having found their way into the hearts of listeners regardless of age.

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

Within sacred-music circles, Wharnsby is cited as a pioneer in the composition of English anasheed, hymns inspired by muslim tradition.  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.

He has worked with the non-profit, community bridge-building organization Sound Vision Foundation in countless creative roles since 1996, redirecting his song royalties toward an endowment for educational initiatives.  The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (Jordan) has consistently included Dawud on their annual list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims for his contributions to entertainment and the arts.

Dawud’s universalist approach to spirituality keeps him actively engaged with inter-faith projects and peace efforts world-wide.  He tours and records with the band Abraham Jam (alongside his friends David LaMotte and Billy Jonas) using music to celebrate mutual support and respect between Abrahamic traditions.

A strong advocate of Simple Living and traditional trades, Dawud has worked professionally throughout the years as an actor,  puppeteer, radio producer, ESL drama teacher, personal support worker and gardener.  His handiwork as an artisan includes woodworking, photography, painting, illustration, film production, beekeeping and candle making.

Dawud resides with his family in Kitchener, Canada  ~ where he is always singing as he home-schools his daughters, tinkers around the house and experiments with urban farming.

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