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 artisan, writer and troubadour Dawud Wharnsby began sharing his songs with audiences as a street performer in his late teens.  Over two decades later, his body of work includes fifteen solo albums, five poetry anthologies, numerous sound-track credits, performances in some of the world’s most notorious 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 books, recordings, 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 frequent collaborator with the Inshallah Singers  and co-leader of Inshallah Kids ~ community song projects focusing on songs of peace and justice.

A strong advocate of Simple Living and traditional trades, Dawud’s handiwork as an artisan includes woodworking, beekeeping and candle making.  His modest workshop and recording studio are based in his home, where, in addition to his own music, Dawud occassionally composes for film, television and Youtube programs.   He manages his own music publishing company and independent label, which help support an endowment for educational initiatives directly overseen by his family.

Dawud resides with his family in Kitchener, Canada where he experiments with urban farming, volunteers with seniors and performs for children as an educational puppeteer.

Photograph by Lori Crewe © 2015

Blog at WordPress.com.