Originally from Scotland, David Leask has spent the last 30 years of his artistic career as an award-winning songwriter (Songwriters Magazine called him, “the most consistent Canadian songwriting competition winner and David was named Mississauga Music 2021 Songwriter of the Year."), a veteran live performer (recipient of the Mississauga Performing Artist of the Year) with almost 3000 shows since moving to Canada (including east and west coast Canada, Northern Ontario and UK tours) and a sought after songwriting mentor and facilitator. Leask has been profiled in a SOCAN Words & Music Magazine article which called him a “lifer who has worked outside the commercial boundaries, earning a decent living and immense respect from his peers.” His music draws from Celtic soul, folk/pop & roots-rock
His last recording, “Voyageur in Song”, was nominated for Canadian Folk Music Association Contemporary Album of the Year and reached #8 on the Canadian Roots Music Chart. A unique concept record inspired by 6 pieces and their amazing stories from the Six String Nation Guitar (nick-named Voyageur and made of 64 pieces of Canadian culture and history), The Toronto Star described "Voyageur In Song" as, "Possibly the most Canadian album on Canada's most historic instrument." The UK's Rock 'N Reel Magazine called it, "That rare thing, a genuinely inspiring album."
The first single from Leask’s upcoming 8th record, One Ray Of Light At A Time is “Feet In Your Shoes.” It is a song about empathy that is being released with a shareable mobile e(Empathy)Card. David hopes this song will inspire listeners to think of people in their life who could use some encouragement. Coming June 9th, he is offering a unique way to reach out – his own shareable Mobile e(Empathy)Card, with a musical message you can customize.
David’s upcoming album, One Ray Of Light At A Time, is a lyrically and musically diverse collection of compositions. Yet thematically, the songs weave together as individual rays of light in difficult times. Watch for its release in the winter of 2024.
A gifted songwriting teacher, David has been a songwriting mentor for 11 years with the School Alliance of Student Songwriters, on the songwriting faculty for Guitar Workshop Plus and is currently a mentor for Humber College's Graduate Certificate Program in Music Composition. He has conducted numerous songwriting workshops at folk festivals and on behalf of the Songwriters Association of Canada with students ranging in age from 7 to 70+ and has the experience, passion and people skills to motivate any individual to write a song. Find out more about David's songwriting workshops.
"A true transatlantic traveler who brings the traditional favourites as well as his stirring songs of longing for his homeland. He uses looping and effects pedals which give him a versatile and remarkably big sound for a solo performer."
Gus Noble, President, Chicago Scottish Festival
"David Leask and his sideman enthralled us all with two forty minutes sets filled with songs of life, love and everyday events. David's voice is so smooth. It is so amazing when such a full sound comes out of just two players."
Suzy Miller, Presenter, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Port Dover
Few performers can capture and hold an audience as well as David Leask - a quadruple threat on stage with an outstanding voice, original songs, and stellar guitar and piano playing. His songwriting skills are second to none. I’ve presented him several times secure in the knowledge that he will deliver an outstanding show. David drew rave reviews and a double standing ovation at his last sold out show in Sudbury."
Bob Bale, Sudbury Concert Promoter
"He has ballads that are so beautiful it could almost make you cry, and then he has the ability to get you up and on the floor dancing until your feet hurt."
Katie Sinclair, AD Fergus Scottish Festival
"David is phenomenally talented and entertaining. He has performed at the National BIA Conference and has been booked by many BIA (BIDs, BIZs) across Canada. A consummate professional, a phenomenal musician and entertainer. I would highly recommend him. His music has mass appeal, performing covers or his own multi-award winning songs. David is the whole package!
Kay Matthews, Executive Director, Ontario BIA Association
"I was so impressed with David’s songwriting and great vocals. At our event, he was a fantastic singer and songwriter. We will definitely have him back in the future."
John Donald, Director-Entertainment, Dauphin’s Countryfest
“We have had the pleasure of having David perform during Summer Streetfest. His performance and style are perfect for our afternoon festival-goers. We had an extraordinary amount of positive feedback from merchants and partakers of the festival about his performance.”
Kelly Morrison, Manager, Woodstock B.I.A
"David is awesome. We recently had him for a return visit as one of our favourites. His songwriting is beautiful and in concert he is able to tell stories which draw the audience into the web he is spinning. He is articulate about many topics which means his songs attract a wide ranging audience."
Allyson Macdonald, Stonecroft Folk, House Concert Series
"Dave was such a rare treat to discover - one of those genuine talents with a truly natural connection between his guitar, his voice and his lyrics - a rare original."
Shari Ulrich, Songwriters Association of Canada
"A "Lifer" in Canadian Music...David Leask has worked outside the commercial boundaries, earning a decent living and immense respect from his peers."
SOCAN Words & Music
"Leask brings to his music a compellingly honest baring of the soul."
"Leask writes great songs... I've added him to an amazing group of talent that includes John Prine, Joe Henry and John Hiatt."
“Voyageur In Song is something truly special… the album is a unique and uplifting, almost spiritual listening experience and really worth hearing.”
Rock 'N Reel Magazine
"Possibly the most Canadian Album on Canada's most historic instrument".
The Toronto Star
"This concept album is a delight on so many levels." FATEA
“Classic singer songwriter styling...the songs combine Leask's compassionate thoughts and messages along side some fine playing” Lonesome Highway
"The manner in which David interweaves each song through its component parts keeps our attention throughout and adds to the lyricism in the suite of songs - a good idea and it’s been realised with noble intentions." Northern Sky
"could be the most truly Canadian record ever" Prairie Post
"Six in 6/8’ does more in 20+ minutes than many albums do in 60. Expertly produced and performed by a first-rate selection of musicians, a terrific record full to the brim with fantastic songs." red guitar music
"Six of the best from this award winning wordsmith....all the songs are superbly crafted and David Leask possesses fine vocal talents..." maverick magazine
"the 6/8 time signature..underpins six beautifully mature songs, naturally & ingeniously" rock 'n reel magazine
"Six in 6/8 features the talents of many fine musicians realizing the potential inherent in Leask’s work, but the heart of this collection resides with its moving and dramatic depiction of everyday lives. It encompasses moments of joy, discovery, loneliness, pain, and survival with straightforward language and a strong melodic emphasis." indiepulsemusic.com
“David Leask’s Six in 6/8 is a heartfelt release exuding authenticity and warmth distinguished by exceptional songwriting…While Leask writes about time-tested subjects, the language has a degree of sophistication missing from popular material plastered across many mainstream platforms and radio outlets.” skopemag.com
"Leask's vocal is a masterclass in emotional major league Rock. "Caught In The Tide" and "When You Think No One Loves You" feature that voice, in Prog mode against squalling guitars or gutsy soulful like a Marc Cohn or Liam O Maonlai from The Hothouse Flowers, always interesting." northern sky magazine
"Between Him & Me” concludes Six In 6/8 on a particularly satisfying note and, as a personal statement, is one many listeners will relate to. Leask rejects anyone dictating how his spiritual relationships will look and he pours ample emotion into the lyrics underlying his commitment to believe and live as he likes. It’s a thoughtful and assertive closer for a studio release that demands repeated hearings." thehollywooddigest.com
“When You Think No One Loves You” places the onus on Leask’s vocals and words to retain our attention and most listeners will find themselves spellbound.” “Red Balloon” is one of the EP’s foundational tracks and it is obvious Leask labored long to polish this superb song. The characters and imagery present in the track aren’t easy to forget once you’ve heard it.” mobyorkcity.com
“David Leask is little known outside of Canada, but this is a persuasive argument for spreading the word.” FATEA magazine
"The Clarke Hall Sessions manages to capture Leask's spirit beautifully, his most truthful and direct essence, which is lean but extremely vital and honest...All these songs will hold and move any listener thanks to a musical sensitivity which, nowadays, is rare to find."
The Long Journey Radio Show, Remo Ricaldone
National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON, The Rose Theatre, Brampton, ON, Nathan Phillips Square Summer Concerts, Toronto, ON, Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, Oakville, ON, Hammerson Hall, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, ON, Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square, Toronto, ON, Sean O' Sullivan Theatre, St. Catharines, ON, Summerfolk Festival, Owen Sound, ON, Home Country Folk Festival, London, ON, Live From The Rock Folk Festival, Red Rock, ON, Summer Music In The Park, Village of Yorkville, Toronto, ON, Unionville Concert Series, Unionville, ON, Summer Streetfest, Woodstock, ON, Engineered Air Theatre, Calgary, AB, West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Empress Theatre, Fort Macleod, AB, Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, AB
2020 - Finalist in the Love Songs Category in the International Songwriting Competition - "Perfect Imperfections"
2020 - Semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition - "The Legend Of Joe Labobe" & "Perfect Imperfections".
2019 - Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition - Video - "When You Think No One Loves You"
2019 - Nominee Independent Music Awards - Video - "When You Think No One Loves You"
2018 - Finalist in Unsigned Only Vocal Performance - "When You Think No One Loves You"
2018 - Finalist in the Canadian Songwriting Competition - "Undo" & "Everybody Sing"
2018 - Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition - "When You Think No One Loves You"
2018 - Semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition - "Red Balloon", "Between Him & Me", "Caught in the Tide"
2014 - Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition - "Everybody Sing"
2011 - 1st Place USA Songwriting Competition Comedy Category - "Infomaniac"
2011 - Runner-up in the John Lennon 70th Birthday Song Contest - "Everybody Sing"
2009 - Overall winner OCFF Songs From The Heart - "While I Still Breathe"
2009 - Top Ten Finalist Toronto Song Contest - "The Toronto We Know"
2009 1st Place Unisong Song Contest - "Freedom By The Barrel"
2007 1st Place OCFF Songs from the Heart Political Category- "Freedom By The Barrel"
2007 1st Place in the International Songwriting Competition - "Strong in Broken Places",
2006 Finalist in the John Lennon Song Contest - "Undo"
2005: 1st Place in the International Songwriting Competition - “The Honey I Want”, Blues Category
2005: Winner OCFF Songs From The Heart - “The Honey I Want”, Blues Category
2004: 1st Place in the NSAI Single Song Showdown - “You Can Cry”
2003: 1st & 2nd Place in the Unisong Song Contest - “Five Minutes” & “You Can Cry”
2003: 1st place in the Quinte Spirit Songwriting Contest - “Halfway to Heaven”
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