Conspiracy of Beards

Mark Growden Quintet opens

Friday, May 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
(doors open at 7:00 pm)

a cappella male choir, performing Leonard Cohen’s songs

$20 advance / $22 door

Purchase tickets online
May 23 8:00 pm

Conspiracy of BeardsIt’s a simple formula, really. Mix the songs of Leonard Cohen with a 30-man a capella choir from San Francisco and the result is pure magic. Dressed in suits, ties, and the occasional fedora, the men of the choir sing complex four- and five-part harmonies, creating a sound that’s part jazz and part gospel, with traces of doo-wop and barbershop. Leonard Cohen’s songs are full of love and heartbreak, soul-searching and sex, politics and a Zen sense of playfulness and humor, and the choir’s clever arrangements capture all of it. Directed by Daryl Henline, the choir has become an integral part of the San Francisco music scene with performances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the Jewish Music Festival, San Francisco City Hall, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as dozens of bars, bookstores, galleries, hospices, and on radio programs including West Coast Live, The California Report, and Weekend Edition.
 
The inspiration for the group came from the late performance artist, Peter Kadyk, who conceived the idea of a Cohen choir, but it was only after his death that his wife Anah asked that a group be put together for a tribute to Peter in June 2003. So a small choir was formed for a one-time event, but the response was so enthusiastic that the choir kept performing. The first members were all friends of Peter’s, but eventually the circle widened. The choir has a self-titled EP, an album, Conspiracy of Beards: Live at Heritage Hall, and a documentary DVD about the group, A Midnight Choir.

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