Brian Adler





Brian Adler is a prolific drummer, percussionist, and composer whose music often makes people want to stop what they are doing and listen in. Most at home playing a set of drums augmented with found objects and percussive instruments from India and South America, critics have noted his earthy sound palette, intricate compositional design, use of space, forward thinking rhythmic concepts and his melodic emphasis. “Adler’s music flows organically in pursuit of mystery, movingly existing in an ultimate state offluidity,” says Jordan Richardson of Canadian Audiophile. 

Early Years

Born with the name Shankar, Adler was raised in an ashram. It was there, at the age of five that he began his musical training, reciting classical Indian drum syllables and providing the heartbeat for chants on a mridang. At ten he began playing and studying the drum set and classical percussion and as a young adult, he traced his family lineage to South America and Eastern Europe finding and developing connections to these musical traditions as well. Adler pursued his studies at the New England Conservatory, where Bob Moses and Ran Blake helped him to develop his percussive voice drawing from several diasporas. 

In New York

Since 2005, Adler has resided in New York City. He has presented music in halls, clubs, museums, and sacred spaces around the world including New York's own Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Rubin Museum, Smalls, Roulette, and Joe's Public Theater. He has been recorded on over thirty albums and has worked with: Bash the Trash, La Bomba de Tiempo, Bombay Rickey, Chelsea Clinton, Elizabeth Swados, Guillermo Klein, Kate McGarry, LA Opera and Sheila Jordan. He has been featured on WNYC's "New Sounds," Jason Bivin's book "Spirits Rejoice" and has written, helped to develop or perform on various film, commercial and theatrical scores including "Of Many," "Nomad" and "Thumbprint."

Adler currently operates Circavision Productions, a production company and boutique record label that has released ten records. Circavision also acts as umbrella for The Human Time Machine(Shankar)Helium Music Project, and Prana Trio.

Adler teaches privately in Brooklyn, at the Brooklyn Conservatory, Vermont Summer Jazz Workshop, and is a presenter at Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2013, he published A World of Percussion a book that creates and explores windows into rhythmic concepts from around the globe.


© 2018 Circavision Productions & Brian Adler. All rights reserved. Photo by Daniel Grabowski.

Brian Adler