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His Grade 6 report card states:  “John has the potential to be an excellent student but must fight the urge to make a joke out of absolutely everything.”  Today John’s mantra states, "You’re dead a long time, so you better get out there and make something beautiful.”  

Perhaps it’s the growing list of accolades, which these days include a Juno nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Galaxie Rising Star Award and a Kerrville New Folk title, or perhaps it’s the lofty comparisons reviewers have made to Tom Russell, W.O. Mitchell and Margaret Laurence.

Whatever it is, Lethbridge, AB based, folk-­‐roots musician, John Wort Hannam is making music with a new-­‐found confidence these days.  15 years into his career and he is far and away writing his best material yet.

John has released 6 recordings in 13 years with performance highlights that include a win at the Kerrville, Texas New Folk Song Competition, collaborating with the Calgary Philharmonic, composing the 50th Anniversary song for his alma mater, University of Lethbridge, composing the 2012 Alberta Winter Games official song and playing the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

New record coming Winter 2017.



It's a long, hard road – figuratively and literally – from a teaching job on a southern Alberta First Nation's reserve to a Juno-nominated roots music career with performances at The Kennedy Centre, The Smithsonian, and Trafalgar Square, but he wouldn't trade the journey for the world.  

Born in Jersey, Channel Islands and raised in Southern Alberta, John earned degrees in Native American Studies and Native Education and taught Grade Nine on reserve for five years.  He decided he wanted to pursue a career in music after hearing Loudon Wainwright III in 1997. 

Now a prize-winning songwriter and performer touring internationally, John Wort Hannam 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 country of ours.  

With a keen eye for the quirky and lyrics that create stories behind the songs, this born storyteller shares the personal and the profound.  Thriving on live performance, John Wort Hannam is truly happy when he is on the road playing and connecting personally with an audience.

Since quitting his teaching job in 2002, he’s released six albums, performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and written official song for the 2011 Alberta Winter Games. 

He won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Award in 2007.  He’s been nominated for three Western Canadian Music Awards, a North American Folk Alliance Award, and three Canadian Folk Music Awards – winning in 2010 for Contemporary Album of the Year.  He also earned a 2010 Juno nod for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year – Solo, and he has three times won the Grand Prize in the Calgary Folk Festival Song Competition. 

"Songs that speak of Canada with the eloquence of a Sinclair Ross, a W.O. Mitchell, a Margaret Laurence or a Sharon Butala." —

"People are starting to sit up and notice this singer-songwriter in his appearances from Montreal to Australia." —Edmonton Folk Festival

"Like Tom Russell, Hannam’s narrative, achingly resilient writing approach hooks the listener immediately. The real deal." —Shindig UK

2013 Triple Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee

2010 Contempory Album of the Year Winner -­‐ Canadian Folk Music Awards 

2010 Juno Award Nominee -­‐ Roots and Traditional Album of the Year

2009 Grand Prize Winner -­‐ Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition 

2008 North American Folk Alliance Award Nominee

2007 Double Western Canadian Music Award Nominee

2007 New Folk Winner -­‐ Kerrville Texas New Folk Songwriting Competition 

2007 Grand Prize Winner -­‐ Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition 

2005 Double Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee

2005 Western Canadian Music Award Nominee

2004 Grand Prize Winner -­‐ Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition


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