San Francisco's Conspiracy of Beards is a 30-man choir that performs gritty, original arrangements of the songs of Leonard Cohen. Formed in 2003 thanks to the inspiration of the late Peter Kadyk, this a cappella group has become known for its live performances at Bay Area venues such as the Cafe du Nord, the Great American Music Hall, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as in bars, bookstores, hospices, and various other community centers. The choir has also been featured on National Public Radio's West Coast Live on KFOG, KPFA, and WFMU, on the PBS television station KQED-TV. The group made its East Coast debut in the spring of 2008 at the the Highline Ballroom, Bowery Poetry Club, and other venues.
Transforming Cohen's simple melodies into complex four- and five-part harmonies, Conspiracy of Beards achieves a sound that is both robust and tender, creating unique arrangements tinged with influences of indie rock, jazz, gospel, barbershop, classical, and doo-wop. Using the genius of Cohen's words, the Beards inspire audiences to ponder romance, politics, sex, longing, and spirituality, all amid laughter and cheers.
"The troupe breaks Cohen's haunting warbles into multi-part harmonies, exploring the dark edges with complex, expertly rendered vocal interpretations."
-Andrew Phillips, Flavorpill (NYC)