“My job is to try and trap the spirit of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal.” – Bruce Cockburn, 2017
One of Canada’s finest artists, Bruce Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career shaped by politics, spirituality, and musical diversity. The Ottawa-born artist 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. His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, rock, and worldbeat styles while travelling to such far-flung places as Guatemala, Mali, Mozambique, and Nepal, and writing memorable songs about his ever-expanding world of wonders.
Bruce Cockburn has written more than 400 songs on 35 albums over a career spanning more than 50 years, of which 23 have received gold or platinum certification. His guitar playing, both acoustic and electric, has placed him in the company of the world’s top instrumentalists. He has sold more than nine-million albums worldwide, and has been honoured with 13 JUNO Awards, an induction into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and he has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
His commitment to growth has made Bruce Cockburn both an exemplary citizen and a legendary artist whose prized songbook will be celebrated for many years to come. In 2020 Cockburn celebrated his 50-year anniversary as a recording artist. As his producer-friend Colin Linden says: “Like the great blues players he admires, Bruce just gets better with age.”