San Francisco’s Conspiracy of Beards is a 30 member male choir that performs dynamic, original, a cappella arrangements of the poetic songs of Leonard Cohen.
Well dressed in suits, ties, and the occasional fedora, the choir brings an energized live choral music experience out of churches and tabernacles and into the taverns, art houses, and theaters of the Bay Area and beyond. Transforming Cohen’s lyrics and simple melodies into complex 4- and 5-part harmonies, and with a wide variety of small ensemble and full choir pieces, Conspiracy of Beards achieves a sound that is both robust and tender. Drawing on influences ranging from jazz and gospel to barbershop and doo-wop, the unique arrangements that choir members create capture all of the emotion and humor of Leonard Cohen’s original music and inspire audiences to ponder common human experiences like romance, heartbreak, politics, sex, longing, and spirituality.
Formed in 2003 through the inspiration of the late San Francisco performance artist Peter Kadyk, his brother Patrick Kadyk, along with friend and composer Daryl Henline, gathered a small group of friends to learn and sing a couple of Leonard Cohen songs as a tribute. Since then the choir, still directed by Daryl Henline, has grown to over 30 members.
Conspiracy of Beards has become an integral part of the San Francisco music scene with performances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, The Jewish Music Festival, Cafe Du Nord, Great American Music Hall, San Francisco City Hall, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as dozens of bars, bookstores, galleries, hospices, and various other community centers. The choir has also been featured on several radio programs including NPR’s “West Coast Live,” “The California Report,” “Weekend Edition,” KQED, KFOG, KPFA, WFMU, and on PBS television.
As a non-profit organization (501c-3) and with a commitment to contributing to civic progress, Conspiracy of Beards also performs in support of many charities, fundraisers, and other non-profits.
“Like its inspiration, the group is deeply sincere, humble and humorous.”
—Las Vegas Sun
“Chelsea Hotel #2,” as performed by the somber San Francisco all-male choir, is perfect in every way.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“…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)