It’s fair to say that Hannah Jane Kile has lived a life of constant adjustment, both personally and musically.
Over the last decade or so, the Auburn-born singer/songwriter — who admits to having been “a sensitive kid” — has grown, along with her music, into a confident twenty-something musical hyphenate.
Kile’s blend of folk, jazz, classical and pop is delivered through a number of different vehicles: with the highly acclaimed folk trio Dear Darling; as vocalist/instrumentalist with the seven-piece ensemble Solabel; and as a solo artist with four self-penned albums.
The daughter of a jazz musician raised by grandparents until age seven, hers was a childhood filled with intergenerational musical influences that ranged from Grand Ole Opry stalwarts Porter Waggoner and Dolly Parton to jazz icons Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
Finding refuge in musical theatre during her teenage years, Kile insists, taught her the importance of being “a musical chameleon” if she was to survive in her chosen field as a songstress. Followed up with classical voice training and an enduring infatuation with the music of Steven Sondheim, the result is a genre-defying voice that is Hannah Jane Kile.
While her early songwriting reflects the trials and tribulations of a young woman navigating difficult times, recent efforts — expressed through her various musical vehicles — show a newfound confidence and self-assurance that has moved the twenty-something-year-old performer well beyond past-life cruelties.
Echoes of favorite contemporary vocalists like Bonnie Raitt are evident in tracks like “Warm your Heart” from the 2018 CD Little Blue Heron, and her YouTube cover of Adele’s “One and Only.”
Pre-pandemic success as an opening act in songwriter showcases for Grammy Award winner Patty Griffin, Ingrid Michelson and blues legend Carolyn Wonderland pave the way for an exciting year to come.
Hannah Jane Kile’s solo release, Winter. dropped in 2021 put a cinematic and intense twist on folk music.
Solabel is currently recording their third album of original music after being the recipient of a Grant to record a social justice album. The collection released late 2023 and is titled City of Trees.
The success of Dear Darling has earned the folk trio a berth on the Norwegian Pearl, selected as one of the opening acts for the 14th Annual Cayamo “Journey Through Song,” a seven-day cruise through the Caribbean slated to set sail in March 2022. The Sacramento-based trio will serve as an opening act for headliners Emmylou Harris, Grace Potter, Indigo Girls, the Punch Brothers and the Mavericks. Dear Darling toured the USA in the summer of 2023 and has a new album Heart Harbor on the way in early 2024.
For fans of the chameleon-like Hannah Jane Kile, expect 2024 to show more of the singer/songwriter’s coat of many colors — in all its various musical forms.
-Mark De Anda