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

The longer answer: they play uplifting original songs & instrumentals that sound a bit like Paul Simon meets Talking Heads. (The band also plays some choice covers, more on that below.)

Photo by Matt Cascardi

They usually perform as a five-piece ensemble featuring vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, electric violin, alto sax, upright bass, drums and live looping.  Trio and quartet formats are also a thing.

Adrian takes delight in setting sober, meaningful lyrics to joyful music. Think of the lyrics as the veggies and the music as the tangy sauce.

Adrian likes his songs to stand on their own musically, independent of the lyrics. His songwriting process always starts with the music. He'll usually complete the instrumental layers of the song from start to finish (chords, melodies, arrangement) before writing a single word. If and only if the music is compelling will he start toying with lyrics, looking for themes that reflect the mood and cadence of the music.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Adrian is an exciting performer to watch: a spirited vocalist, he moves effortlessly between guitar & violin, sometimes using live looping to add layers of sound and intrigue to his songs. With a knack for language that's straightforward yet poetic, he's not afraid to tackle difficult subjects: Safe Streets tells an allegory about police brutality and corruption, Lovers of the World speaks for younger generations who are inheriting an damaged planet from their elders, Ironclad depicts human memory as a double-edged sword, etc.

The band sometimes peppers their sets with interpretations of covers by the likes of Paul Simon, Talkingheads, Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morisette, Kenny Garrett, Squeeze, Dolly Parton, Supertramp, Dave Brubeck, Tom Waits, Thelonious Monk, The Pretenders, Billy Joel, Roy Hargrove, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Noe Venable & Maurice Ravel.

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

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 which has performed steadily at venues and festivals all over the Bay Area.

In 2023 the band released their third full-length album The One-Way Pony Ride . OWPR

In 2019 they released their second full-length album The Human Touch.



Human Touch

In 2011 they released their first album Chameleons and Butterflies.


Chameleons & Butterflies
In 2017-2018 Adrian combined his love of music with his love of science in a multimedia show called An Evening of Music & Science which wove his music with synchronized videos and presentations on the subject of "how life began on Earth". The show was put on twice at The Monkey House in Berkeley and three times in SF at the Shelton Theater.

Adrian with his six-string electric violin.

Photo by Heather Keevican