Conspiracy of Beards. Photo © William Widmer 2009
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7–7:30 pm & 8–8:30 pm
The unique 30-member all-male choir Conspiracy of Beards performs water-inspired songs of legendary poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen (b. 1934).
Well dressed in suits, ties, and the occasional fedora, the choir brings energized live choral music experiences 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 four- and five-part harmonies, 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 Cohen’s original music and inspire audiences to ponder common human experiences like romance, heartbreak, politics, sex, longing, and spirituality.
Since its founding in 2003 through the inspiration of the late San Francisco performance artist Peter Kadyk, his brother Patrick Kadyk, and composer Daryl Henline, Conspiracy of Beards has become an integral part of the San Francisco music scene with performances at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the Jewish Music Festival, Cafe Du Nord, the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco City Hall, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as dozens of bars, bookstores, galleries, hospices, and various community centers. The choir also has been featured on several radio programs and stations including NPR’s West Coast Live, The California Report, Weekend Edition, KQED, KFOG, KPFA, and WFMU, as well as on public television.