Brian Shankar Adler


Described as "a polyrhythmic force" (JazzTimes), multidisciplinary drummer, percussionist and composer Brian Shankar Adler transcends the terrain between genre and geographic region, asking: how can we find connection through rhythm? He has performed internationally in caves, forests and adjacent glacial ice fields as well as Carnegie Hall, Jazz Standard, Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center. He has been recorded on over forty albums including his recent works, “For a Gallery on the Moon” (Chant Records, 2020) and “Fourth Dimension” (Chant Records, 2019). His music video, “Mantra” won best music video at Transcinema International Film Festival in Peru and an official selection at Quiet City Film Festival in New York City. Adler has worked with La Bomba De Tiempo, Guillermo Klein, Frank London, Kate McGarry, Palaver Strings, Kamala Sankaram, Elizabeth Swados, Ray Vega, among others and has been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine, DownBeat, and NPR. He is currently on faculties at Bates College, Bowdoin College and University of Maine.

IN 3

  • Most memorable Next-Level Performance

    When I play with musicians for many years (ten, twenty years or more), a deep musical trust develops that is indescribable. It feels so comfortable and freeing, that I feel like I can say anything that I want through the drums. There are no technical barriers or limits. The best way I can describe it is like a conversation among life long friends.
  • What Drives Your Creativity?

    Hearing new sounds, textures or ideas that are so focused that they transport me to another world. Sometimes I hear them in my head, sometimes I hear them in the playing or writing of the masters and sometimes I hear them in nature.
  • Why do you choose Vic Firth?

    I love to practice using the thickest sticks that I can find, and also the thinnest. It is a great challenge for my hands. Then, I return to Vic Firth 5A’s and they feel an extension of my limbs. They feel like home.