about dawud

Inspired by the the age-old use of song to unite people in their common experiences, joys and struggles ~ Canadian born artisan, writer and community musician Dawud Wharnsby began sharing his writings as a street performer in his late teens.  Over thirty years later, his songs have taken on lives of their own.

In time-honoured, community/folk-music custom, Wharnsby’s 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, Edinburgh University and Cambridge University 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 is a founding member of the inter-faith trio 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 continues to write, experiments with urban farming and is frequently involved with local community music projects.


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