Adrian Bridges is a New York City-based guitarist, composer, and sound designer. Drawing on his broad knowledge of Western music, Adrian brings a rich historical perspective, formal technique, and a collaborative approach to new compositions and performances in music and theater, creating a sound that is simultaneously familiar and fresh.
Growing up in Philadelphia as the son of a longtime radio DJ, whose family roots extend to New Orleans, Adrian was exposed to a diverse catalog of American music, including rock, bluegrass, zydeco, and soul. However, it was at age four, upon participating in a school performance of The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” that his passion for music really took off. At that point, Adrian immersed himself in the early rock of The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and The Beach Boys. Those artists’ mix of blues and popular rhythms with rich harmony and highly structured forms remain a great influence on him to this day.
At age six, Adrian began his formal musical training, studying classical guitar at Philadelphia’s esteemed Settlement Music School, where he would continue through high school. He moved to New York to pursue a bachelor’s degree in jazz guitar at New York University, where he was honored as a Presser Scholar and graduated summa cum laude. He completed his master’s in composition at NYU as well, studying with Ezequiel Viñao, focusing on jazz-inflected concert compositions, seeking to erase the boundaries between classical, jazz, and popular music.
As a versatile instrumentalist, proficient in a wide variety of styles on guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, Adrian found a home in the world of musical theater, and has played for a wide variety of productions both in New York and internationally. As a music director and composer, he’s also helped shape productions for Less Than Rent Theater (Little Town Blues, Diva–Best Musical and Audience Favorite at the 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival), Artilliers (A Dream Play, Sea/Sick), Kaleid Theatre (Eurydice, Glow, No Place Like, Take/Sacrifice), and Theater In Asylum (¡Olé!, The Debates).
Sound design has also become large part of Adrian’s work, creating soundscapes that feature in theatrical productions and have woven their way into his music as well. Building on his composition background, he records, modulates, and layers effects to create vivid and familiar settings, using sounds like notes and instruments playing together.
As a guitarist, Adrian has also had the opportunity to tour Italy with his jazz group, The Afterthought Quartet, playing top venues across the country such as The Blue Note in Milan, Ferrara’s Torrione Jazz Club, Take Five Jazz Club in Bologna, and The Florence International Music Festival. He can regularly be found performing around New York in theatrical productions and with various groups, including the hip-hop collective Izzy Man & The Plan.