Dawoud began to play the guitar on his 10th birthday His teens were spent honing his guitar skills. On his 18th birthday, he bought his sitar and began teaching himself the rudiments of the instrument from books and recordings.
Between 1979-83. Dawoud toured the Midwest US with Focal Poynt as multi-instrumentalist, composer. He also began teaching guitar and learning audio engineering. In 1983, he moved to New York City, and did work as a musician and musical director locally and toured with a number of local rock groups. In 1994 Dawoud decided to abandon rock music, and sought exclusivity in jazz and eastern music. Short tours of the Eastern US followed.
Dawoud's achievements between 2001 & 2005 include building his first home recording studio, more sessions and live performances than can be listed here, teaching; privately, and with the Bronx School of Music and Art, and the Harlem School of the Arts, performing in Europe as a bandleader (Paris, Milan, Zurich, Copenhagen, etc.), and received radio airplay in Europe, Russia, and Indonesia. In 2005, "Renegade Sufi" was released in Europe, and later in the US. Performances in Italy and France were well received. From 2006 to the present saw Dawoud producing film soundtracks, performing, recording, teaching, and, of course, performing and recording. He has incorporated the dulruba (a bowed string instrument from India) into his arsenal of instruments, and found new and innovating ways of using the instrument.
Dawoud has performed, either as a band leader, solo, or with others at virtually every venue of note in NYC (Including the Apollo Theater, Town Hall, the Blue Note, Birdland, and the Brooklyn Acadamy of Music).
Tours of the US and Europe are being planned. He began work on his next three CD releases, as well as several large scale compositions (including the Isra wa Miraj Suite, a seven part suite based on the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad through the seven levels of heaven).
Dawoud's modifications of the sitar have inspired him to begin designing his own instruments. More news on this to come.
Dawoud has published several articles in many online and print magazines (including doobeedoobeedoo.info, and illumemagazine.com). He released his first novel, an Islamic / Sufi science fiction story titled "A Quantum Hijria" (published in paperback by Leilah Publishing, available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com). Forthcoming writing projects include another Science fiction novel (titled "Apotheosis Now"), and a text book on music.
The music of Dawoud, and that of Renegade Sufi (see below) seamlessly blends east and west, acoustic and electronic, modern and ancient. Dawoud's studies amd experiments have born sweet fruits.
While popular styles, as well as elements of world music, jazz, etc. are evident, this music transcends the boundaries of style and genre, and fearlessly explores the psychoactive properties of music. It is an initiation, a secret journey.
In 2009, Dawoud formed Renegade Sufi. This was done to distinguish ensemble from performances and recordings. With Dawoud at the core, Renegade Sufi boasts of several fine musicians who have graced the stage; including Jimmy Lopez, Holly Cordero, Rich Stein, Danial Latif Kurfirst, Kosi Gyebi, and others. The group has performed in many
SOME DETAILS OF DAWOUD'S MUSICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Discography of self produced solo recordings:
"Life Experience" (out of print) - "Rainy Afternoon Meditation" (out of print) - "Dawoud & the New Culture Ensemble" (out of print) - "The Tao of Mystic Jaz" (available online) - "Renegade Sufi" - "Journey of No Return" (tracks available online).
Credits with theater / dance include:
"Aerial Dance" (Dha-Fusion Productions) - "The Brothers Karamazov" (Frost / Friedman Productions). - "Windows," (Leon Azul Productions) - "It's Wake Up Time" (Bilal Family Productions) - "The Answer" (Najiullah Productions) - "Indigenous Woman" (Muhayyideen Wisdom Theater Productions).
Credits with film scoring include:
"RAM" (One Life Productions. dir. Edwin Porres) - "The Rose" (dir. Fareen Butt) - "The Life and Times of Omar Khayyam" (dir. Majid Beemtaha) - "One Voice; Our Youth" (dir. Muhammad Stewart) - "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Sunshine Star productions) - "Beyond Baklava" (Sunshine Star productions (Dawoud also co-directed two segments of this film),"10 Forward", (produced and directed by Khalid Sawaf), "Life By The Drop:" (directed by Tico Chango), .and others.
Radio stations that feature Dawoud's music include:
M3 Radio - New York City, WBAI - New York City, WPAT - New York City, Galaxie Radio Ontario,Canada, WNWK - New York City, WFMU - Jersey City, NJ, All That Jazz Radio - Malaga, Spain, WTUL - Baton Rouge, LA, Radio Voce Spazio - San Michele Italy, RCV 99FM - Lille, France, Radio Novosibrisk - Novosibrisk Russia, Radiopolaze Italio - Milano Italy, 91.7fm WHUS, Storrs, CN and other radio stations throughout the US, Europe, Russia, Poland, and Indonesia. A large number of internet radio stations are also presenting his music.
George Prittchet (guitar), Jeff Slatnick (sitar, raga theory. Former student of Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan),Kaeef Ali (jazz composition and theory), Kelvyn Bell (jazz guitar, jazz theory), Pyeng Threadgil (vocals), Michael Harrison (vocals, raga theory), Ustad Shaheed Parvez Khan (sitar, raga theory). Dawoud also attended master classes with Pat Martino, Dr. Yusef Lateef, and Ahmet Erdogdular.
Other experience includes:
- Worked as a recording engineer and in house studio musician for Blue Chip Studios, Shadow Sound, and Underground Studios.
- Live sound engineering with Focal Poynt Productions, The Bitter End, Kenny's Castaways, 360 Productions, etc.
- Radio engineering with Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc., ZK Productions, Radio Murid Inc, New Africa Productions, Al-Islam in America, etc.
- Acting credits include "Ghostbuster's 2", "Stuart Little part 2", Lustre (Great Jones Productions), "It's Wake Up Time" (Bilal Family Productions), "Beyond Baklava" (Sunshine Star productions), body double for Gary Charonne (in Extreme's music video "Tragic Comic"), etc.
- Creating visual art.
- Teaching music privately, at the Harlem School of the Arts, and at the Bronx School of Music and Art.
- Held executive position with the United Muslim Musicians & Recording Artists (1995-00).
- Performing spoken word / poetry in the NYC area.
- Imam (Islamic minister) with the volunteer service of the New York City Department of Corrections. (1998- present)
A sample of the people Dawoud recorded and / or performed with:
Lauryn Hill, James "Blood" Ulmer, Nona Hendryx, Gilmar Gomes, DJ Celt Islam / Muhammad Abdullah Hamza, SoSaLa, Gypsy Groovez Orchestra, Khaleel Muhammad, Abdou Mboup, Marie Alphonzo (Zap Mama), Tom Chess, Brandon Terzic, Sohrab Sadaat, Steve Booke, Jimmy Lopez, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, The Mysterious Tremendum Ensemble, Ustad Muzallim Hussain, Jojo Kao, Akim Funk Buddha & Dha-Fusion, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Matin, Sayyd Abdul Khabir (Duke Ellington, Count Basie), Rahn Burton (Rahsaan Roland Kirk), Larajji, Junni Booth, Tony Jones, Body Temple, Mansoor Scott, Harry Whittaker, Bob Cunningham, Jessie "Cheese" Hameen, Dean Bowman, Kelvyn Bell, The Open Music Ensemble, and many others.