Conspiracy of Beards is a 30-member a capella male choir which performs exclusively the songs of the legendary poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Inspired by the late performing artist Peter Kadyk and directed by Daryl Henline, the group performs gritty, uplifting renditions Cohen's songs. Since its foundation in 2003, the choir has performed to dozens of enthusiastic audiences around the San Francisco Bay Area. Notable performances include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco City Hall and the Great American Music Hall, as well as appearances on PBS television station KQED, radio stations KFOG and KPFA, and national radio program West Coast Live. The group became an official non-profit organization in 2006; in 2008, the Beards completed their first mini-tour of the East Coast, performing on radio station WFMU and at several venues in the New York City area, including the Highline Ballroom and the Bowery Poetry Club.
Transforming Cohen's simple melodies into complex 4 to 5 part harmonies, their sound ranges from tender to robust. One can hear influences of contemporary, jazz, gospel, barbershop, classical and even doo-wop styles in the unique arrangements by chorus members. Using the genius of Cohen's words, the Beards inspire the audience to ponder personal, political and spiritual life throughout the show, amid laughter and cheers. The songs have real and relatable meaning which affects listeners in an intimate manner. And when sung by a group of sincere gentlemen, it is a rare phenomenon which touches audience members on many levels.