Adrian West Bio

Ask him what kind of music The Adrian West Band  plays and Adrian will answer "Yes." Or if he's feeling cocky, he'll answer "Good."

The long answer: a quirky-but-infectious mix of original songs and instrumentals that explore the space between acoustic rock, classical and World styles. They have drawn such diverse comparisons as Paul Simon and Nelly McKay, artists seldom mentioned in the same breath.

Photo by Heather Keevican          

Adrian is an exciting performer to watch. He has an uplifting, almost child-like singing voice, and he moves effortlessy between guitar & violin, sometimes making tasteful use of live looping. He's not afraid to tackle difficult topics in his songwriting; Safe Streets is about police violence, Close Your Eyes is about the beauty bias in the mass media, and Random Serenade is about the evidence-based meaninglessness of life. But there's one thread throughout all of his songs and it's a sense of hope. Featuring vocal harmonies, guitar, electric violin, bass, drums, and live "looping”, with Scott Keller on drums & vocals and Kevin Goldberg on bass. 

Adrian started playing violin at the age of four and in his teens studied classical violin at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montreal. He later learned to play drums, guitar and developed his vocal and songwriting technique.

He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 where as a sideman violinist he began supporting local Bay Area bands, playing some of the area's better known venues including the Fillmore, Yoshi's SF (main stage), Slim’s, The Independent and The Sweetwater.

When Adrian began performing solo, he combined violin, guitar, mandolin, beatboxing and vocals into a live performance that relied heavily on 'looping'. He recorded an all-instrumental demo CD called The One-Man String Quartet which got airplay on Keller Williams' nationally syndicated radio show Keller's Cellar, as well as on Derk Richardson's Hear and Now show on KPFA in Berkeley.

In 2005 he formed the Adrian West Trio and in 2010 he released his first full-length CD Chameleons and Butterflies.

Since then the band has performed at small venues and festivals all over the Bay Area.


Recently Adrian combined his love of music with his love of science in a multimedia show called An Evening of Music & Science which weaves his music with synchronized videos and presentations on the subject of how life began on Earth. The show was put on twice in Berkeley in 2017 and there are plans for more shows.

Adrian West has performed with West African Highlife Band, Jerry Joseph, Garrin Benfield, Spencer Day, Corinne West, Ira Marlowe, Forest Sun, Alexis Harte, Vanessa Lowe and Teja Gerken


Photo by Ned Sykes