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 catchy mix of original songs and instrumentals that hover between acoustic rock, classical and West-African styles. They have drawn such diverse comparisons as Paul Simon and Nelly McKay, artists seldom mentioned in the same breath.

Photo by Heather Keevican          

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Adrian is an exciting performer to watch. He sings in an uplifting, almost child-like voice as he moves effortlessy between guitar & violin, often using live looping to add layers of sound (and intrigue) to his songs. He's not afraid to tackle difficult topics in his songwriting; Safe Streets tells an allegory about police violence, Close Your Eyes laments the beauty bias that pervades in the mass media, and Senses implores that you enjoy your senses while you can. Despite this philosophical streak, Adrian's lyrics are infused with a sense of hope and a touch of whimsy. The band features vocal harmonies, guitar, electric violin, bass, drums, and live "looping”. 

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.

In 2005 he formed the Adrian West Band 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