Indigenous Artist

David is member of the Ojibway First Nation of Bkejwanong, also known as Walpole Island, located in southern Ontario.  David is an experienced musician and composer, music producer and sound designer. Playing guitars and keyboards as well as being an expert with digital audio platforms he is also experienced with both concert and recording studio audio systems.  With over 50 years of experience as a musician, David studied music composition at the University of Arizona and has performed in ensembles ranging from choirs to rock bands to metropolitan orchestras.  One of the ensembles, the Native alternative rock band "Seventh Fire" came to prominence with its album in the early 90’s “The Cheque Is In The Mail" which was co-produced by David.  He is also experienced in performing and composing music in the traditional Native genre known as the 'intertribal'.  This is the type of music most often heard at the Native social gatherings known as powwows.  In this regard David has sang and drummed with such groups as the Walpole Island Singers, The Hard Corps Singers and ultimately leading the Wa:k Singers in Tucson, Arizona.

David works as a musician and a composer by recording and collaborating with a number of Aboriginal musicians.  Notable works include the Aboriginal opera "Bones" by Sadie Buck, produced at the Banff Centre where David was the Music Director for this piece and, numerous theatrical projects for Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto, as well as the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and others.  

Theatrical projects include composing the music for “Almighty Voice And His Wife” for Theatre Kingston in Kingston, Ontario. ”Where The River Meets The Sea" for the Nakai Theatre in Whitehorse, "Songs of Love and Medicine", with playwright Daniel David Moses, and, for the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Drew Hayden Taylor's "The Girl Who Loved Her Horses". David has been nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award (2022) for sound design for The Howland Company’s “The Home Project”.

In 2017 David collaborated with installation artist Bonnie Devine in a project titled “La Rabida: The Soul Of Colonization”. In support of this collaboration he solely composed a choral piece titled “Inter Caetera 1493 - Dudem Siquidem” based on the actual text of this Vatican document ratifying the Doctrine of Discovery.

David was the initial Music Director, on-air host/producer, audio engineer and in-house composer for Aboriginal Voices Radio which was a Toronto based radio station featuring music and spoken word programming dedicated to national and international
indigenous topics.

As a sideman David is currently featured on upcoming recordings by Cliff Cardinal & The Sky Larks in multi-instrumental and backing vocalist capabilities. He has worked for music director Donald Quan as bass guitarist for the nationally televised Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards during the years 2002 - 2005. Other sideman projects include bassist for country and western act Jacques & the Shakey Boys and for the jazz trio O-Jazz.  He was also the bassist for Cheri Maracle andwas also on her album "Closer To Home". Dave has collaborated with other Native artists in the studio and on stage, including Derek Miller and Madagascaran artist Donne Roberts. David co-wrote the song 'Wishing Well' with Derek Miller on Derek's award winning album 'Derek Miller and The Dirty Looks'

Other professional interests include video and film production.  In this area, he has produced industrial videos, music videos (Seventh Fire and Murray Porter), a documentary and one short film.  The latter, "The Strange Case Of Bunny Weequod", with a screenplay by Ojibway playwright and screnwriter Drew Hayden Taylor and directed by Steve Van Denzen, took second place at the Native American Film and Video Festival in San Francisco in 1999. David is also an experienced video editor having spent a year working on the  daily televised program 'The LINK' for the Aboriginal People's Television Network. He is also an experienced location sound recordist for broadcast television productions.

David grew up in Detroit during the 60's and as a musician is well acquainted with R&B, funk, blues, rock and country styles which he continues to draw upon in his work as a composer and as a session musician.  


First Nations


Last reviewed: Feb 27th, 2023