John Wort Hannam
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It’s a long, hard road – figuratively and literally – from a teaching job on southern Alberta’s Kainai First Nation to a Juno-nominated roots music career with performances at The Kennedy Centre, The Smithsonian, and Trafalgar Square, but John Wort Hannam wouldn’t trade the journey for the world. From the Canadian prairies in southern Alberta comes one of Canada’s best western folk/roots songwriters. John is known for his unique take on the simple day-to-day dramas of common folk through songs that map the landscapes of both the human heart and this vast continent of ours. For five years John Wort Hannam was a fulltime school-teacher on the largest reserve in Canada – The Kainai Nation, part of the Blackfoot Tribe. Unfulfilled by teaching, John pondered a life-long dream as a roots singer-songwriter, a daunting challenge considering he didn’t know how to play guitar or write songs at the time. In1998 he bought a guitar and learnt some chords. In 2003 he quit teaching to pursue the dream of being a working musician. ‘You’re dead a long time, John’s mantra states, “so you better get started.” Hannam quit his job, wrote songs in his basement, recorded his first record, and began touring. Since his career’s humble beginnings, he has garnered a Juno nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Album of the Year, three grand prize wins at the Calgary Folk Fest Songwriting Competition. He penned the 2011 Alberta Winter Games official song, “Like The Northern Lights”, and performed at both the 2010 Vancouver and 2012 London Olympics. Raw, live performances are what Hannam and his trio live for. He spends much of the year driving across North America to perform at clubs, theatres and festivals. Hannam recently released his 5th studio album, Brambles and Thorns.