Bruce Cockburn (Ontario)
In a career that now spans 40 extraordinary years, singer-songwriter, musician, activist Bruce Cockburn has established himself as both an exemplary citizen and one of Canada’s finest artists. In the course of his career, he’s written songs that have become anthems, have chronicled and taken a stand important issues and revealed potent insight into the human condition.
His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, rock, and worldbeat styles. His illustrious career has been shaped by politics, spirituality, and musical diversity.
Cockburn has won high praise as an exceptional songwriter and a revered guitarist. His songs of romance, protest, and spiritual discovery are among the best to have emerged from Canada over the last four decades. His guitar playing, both acoustic and electric, has placed him in the company of the world’s top instrumentalists. And he remains deeply respected for his activism on issues from native rights and land mines to the environment and Third World debt, working for organizations such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and Friends of the Earth.
Throughout, Cockburn has deftly captured the joy, pain, fear, and faith of human experience in song. Whether singing about retreating to the country or going up against chaos, tackling imperialist lies or embracing ecclesiastical truths, he has always expressed a tough yet hopeful stance: to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.