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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 through the inspiration of the late Peter Kadyk, this a Capella group has become known for their live performances at Bay Area venues such as the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, 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, WFMU and on PBS television station KQED-TV, and made its East Coast debut in Spring 2008 at the Highline Ballroom and Bowery Poetry Club. The Beards now make an annual spring pilgrimage to New York for a whirlwind of shows around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Transforming Cohen’s simple melodies into complex 4- and 5-part harmonies, the group achieves a sound that is both robust and tender, with influences of indie rock, jazz, gospel, barbershop, classical and doo-wop in the unique arrangements the choir creates. Using the genius of Cohen’s words, the Beards inspire audiences to ponder romance, politics, sex, longing and spirituality, all amid laughter and cheers.

“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)

What the Bloggers Are Saying

“Niche Is Nice”, December 21, 2009
“In short, the group is great fun to watch in action.”

Highline Ballroom Reviews, April, 2009
“…the most unique concert experience I have ever seen…”
“…genuine and…dedicated to each song and its performance.”

Media Coverage

SF Weekly
New York’s Best A Capella Groups

Time Out New York, April, 2009
The Conspiracy of Beards—They’re Your Men

Conspiracy of Beards in the New York Press
STUBBLE BUMS: Conspiracy of Beards’ Cohen fetish

A profile from the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Beards Bow to Leonard Cohen

From Kitchen Sink Magazine:
How I Became a Beard

A short video profile from KQED (San Francisco):

Beards on *Spark

Press Photos (2011-2012 season)



Conspiracy of Beards has performed at the following venues and more:

  • 12 Galaxies
  • A.Muse Gallery
  • Adobe Bookstore
  • Amnesia
  • Anna’s Jazz Island (Berkeley)
  • Artist Television Access
  • Atlas Cafe
  • Bowery Poetry Club (Manhattan)
  • Box Theatre (Manhattan)
  • Bruno’s
  • Cafe Du Nord
  • City Lights Bookstore
  • Clarion Alley Block Party
  • counterPULSE
  • Echoplex, (Los Angeles)
  • El Valenciano
  • Great American Music Hall
  • Henry Miller Library (Big Sur)
  • Henry Ohlhoff Recovery House
  • Highline Ballroom (Manhattan)
  • Jewish Community Center
  • Johansson Projects Gallery (Oakland)
  • Kaiser Permanente Hospital
  • The LAB
  • Laguna Honda Hospice
  • Live Worms Gallery
  • LoBot Gallery (Oakland)
  • The Make Out Room
  • Marin Headlands Center for the Arts (Marin Co.)
  • Mills College (Oakland)
  • The Mint (Los Angeles)
  • Project Artaud Theater
  • The Rite Spot
  • San Francisco City Hall
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • San Francisco Zen Center
  • Saint Rocke (Hermosa Beach)
  • Southern Exposure
  • The Starry Plough (Berkeley)
  • Swedish American Hall

as well as being featured on:

  • KFOG
  • KPFA
  • KQED Spark
  • WFMU (New York)
  • NPR’s West Coast Live