About Me

Born and raised in the Detroit area, Kirabelle is a singer / songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist living and loving in Nashville, eternally chasing truth and expression through the medium that connects us all... music.  Her fondness for sampling old songs from the Great American Songbook along with folk favorites adding unique arrangements is evident in her style. "These songs should never be forgotten.  I strive to keep them alive in my music."  Kirabelle infuses her own compositions with elements of folk and jazz utilizing a variety of  instruments - ukulele, banjolele, guitar, cello, fiddle, piano, melodica, mandolin, dulicimer, flutes, whistles, and autoharp.  "It is my great hope to inspire others to research and recognize the glorious treasures left to us by those who've come before, tip our hats, pay tribute, and continue on, re-inventing the musical 'wheel.'" 

Hear my music

GBS PRESENTS: KIRABELLE

KiraBelle - musician

Woohoo

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    Kira and Garris - Old Fashioned Hat (recorded in 2015 for a family wedding ceremony) selected by Covered in Folk for Anais Mitchell cover compilation including Billy Bragg, Bon Iver, among others.

    ..."South Carolina ex-pat, now living in China and preparing for a stint as a yoga teacher in India, partners with friend Kira for a four-track EP featuring a solid Tom Waits cover and this subtle slackstring soft-track, gentle, wistful, and aware of its unrefined honesty."

    "Vermont-slash-Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell was a fast-rising star upon her 2002 arrival to the scene, with out of the gate recognition from Kerrville’s New Folk competition and early adoption onto Ani Difranco’s record label, Righteous Babe, thanks to a strong debut recorded in a single afternoon and a distinctive knack for prescient hooks and heavy subjects couched in sweepingly intimate production and a distinctively, deceptively innocent yet complex and carefully honed voice. These days, her name-recognition runs high inside the broad boundaries of folk, and her talent is in high demand, as demonstrated by tours with Bon Iver, Josh Ritter, Punch Brothers and The Low Anthem, collaborations with Jefferson Harmer and Rachel Ries, and kudos from Pitchfork, NPR, The New York Times, and more.

    If fame outside the folkworld or prodigious output were a measure of success, she would remain insulated. But although it has been three years since her last release, and five since her last of all new original work, there is something essential about Anais Mitchell right now. Just a half dozen studio albums into her career, Mitchell has become a true mover and shaker in the folkworld, cited by peers and press as central to the definitive depth and honesty that typifies the nucleus of the current folk generation.

    A powerhouse out on the bleeding edge, her collaborative work, including our previously-featured exploration of the Child Ballads with Jefferson Harmer, which won a BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Traditional Track, is sharp. Her output – including the epic, introspective 2012 release Young Man In America, and folk opera Hadestown, which brought folk heavyweights Greg Brown, Justin Vernon, The Haden Triplets, and Difranco together to voice the Ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and has since been both toured with a rotating cast and turned into a New York stageshow due to return for the 2017-2018 season – reveals an artist exploring the potential of folk to speak deeply and cohesively about the world on a scale heretofore unattempted, illuminating the world of the political and the personal into sharp relief.

    The proof, of course, is in the coverage, both in its richness and in its very fact. Note notables such as Billy Bragg and Bon Iver in the mix below, taking on the Anais songbook in homage and early tribute to a truly worthy songwriter and craftsperson. Take note, as well, of the flexibility of song here, as the lo-fi acoustic and the rich mix rebuilt, the balladeer and the barroom singer, the mellow and the mean, the jamband and the celtic take their turns on the canon, and come up roses.

    Listen as others come to echo the echoes – revealing a set rich in Bandcamp discoveries, and diverse in tone and tenor, as befits the deep, versatile songbook that Mitchell offers forth. Pick and choose, or download them as a single set. And then, as always, click through to go back to the source – to celebrate, as it were, the artists who continue to circle around song, and around the whole of us, from Anais Mitchell herself to those who would braid their gifts with hers, to the betterment of us all.

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    I'm more or less taking the night off because I have other things that need to get done.  Plus I want to spend a little time with Mrs. Katz, poor thing.  But I figured I could at least give you something to investigate for your Sunday.  So, even though this is clearly Free List material, through the luck of the draw they get a front page post.  Good on ya.

    Firebreath is a Nashville music management company, so their job is basically to help artists get their music heard--in as many ways and in as many places as possible.  This is the second year they've issued a Christmas compilation.  Last year's "All I Got For Christmas" (still available for free download) was a mere 10 tracks long.  "The Wrap Album" is more than double the size and many of last year's artists return for another spin.  This year's record also features a broader range of sounds.  Where last year's comp was almost entirely Indie Folk, this year's features all manner of Rock and Pop, Pop Punk, Americana, R&B and even a bit of Jazz Pop.  Although the record is "name-your-price", any money raised goes to the Nashville Rescue Mission, helping the homeless in the area.


    The Jazz Pop I mentioned?   Kirabelle Frabotta and Brian Thibault give us the original "Hipster Holidaze", which plays off "Carol Of The Bells" a bit.  And, cats and kittens, this one's a keeper.  In all likelihood, the single best track on the compilation.  Just mesmerizing.  "Hipster Holidaze" will bring the cool to your Christmas collection and/or gathering.  Thumbs way up, aces, top o the pop--if you take nothing else away from "The Wrap Album", this one should make the whole thing worthwhile.

    UPDATE:  When I heard "Hipster Holidaze", it sounded to me like a hybrid of two songs--"Carol Of The Bells" and, uh.....and, um......"Carol Of The Bells" and.....I can't think of it.  It was a Rick Perry "oops" brainfart.  That kind of thing will haunt me.  So, today, I finally figured it out.  "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck.  I could be completely wrong on all of it, but those were the two songs "Hipster Holidaze" brought to my head.  I feel so much better now.
    Those are the highlights, in my humble opinion, but if something else tickles your fancy, that's cool.  And, by the way, where do I go to get a fancy and why would I want to tickle it?  "Firebreathmas 2015:  The Wrap Album" is "name your price" at Bandcamp.

                      

     

    http://phoneticbells.com/majikmoments/kirabelle-frabotta-on-majik-moments/?fb_source=pubv1

    December 18, 2012 - FOX2 Detroit Interview and Performance

    KirabelleFrabottaWHFR.mp3

                I discovered this jazzy, Nashville-newbie on the floor of Myridia’s make-shift stage for the weekly, Wednesday writer’s night. She stepped up to the microphone like the rest, told endearing stories like the rest, but when the time came to sing, something happened that was quite different from the rest.

    Kira Frabotta sounds like Norah Jones and Regina Spektor spun on a 40′s record player. 

    She brings fresh energy to an old sound.

    One bad day of teaching kindergarten in Detroit set this highland-dancing, northerner on the road for Nashville. Dangling on the precipice of a 2-year lease and a longer standing relationship that would tie her to her hometown left only one thought in her mind: I can’t do that. I can’t be here for two more years. 

    In hind sight, she said the impulsive decision to leave her home and pursue her dream in a city where she knew no one was one of the best moves she has made.

    “I am a nomadic spirit. I need to roam.”

    So she roamed all the way to music city.

    Between different jobs she has found herself having the most fun playing her music on busy street corners.

    “I can make some gas money and meet really cool people.” Where that source of income falls short, it is definitely made up for in the connections she has made with passers-by. As any good musician should, she thrives on the intimacy found in bringing people together and sharing time and words with strangers. Her classic, soulful sound follows in her wake, wherever she may go.

    Kira also works at Goorin Bros., a hat shop in downtown. This has become the birth place for a lot of her ukulele melodies. At slow points throughout her shift, she loves to crack open her instrument’s case and pluck out harmonies for a few customers. An older man who lives above the shop meandered downstairs one day and began asking her about her ukulele. After inquisitive banter, she came to discover that he knew more about her favorite instrument than she. A collector (of over a decade) of ukuleles himself,  they took to the new mutual connection and have learned from one another and had a jam session or two when he re appears in the shop.

    Kira’s passion for meeting new people and experiencing new places is contagious. Even sitting here reminiscing her days of dancing to highland music in Scotland makes my heart ache to return. From Hungary to Austria, the Czech Republic to Eastern Europe, Kira has seen and fancied many places, but her love for traveling began early on when she dedicated her Highland dancing days to her deceased Scottish grandfather.

    She first visited the land of Scots when competing for Highland Dancing in Perth. Her brother plays the bagpipes like a native-bred highlander, himself. Most of Kira’s competitive dancing kept in her mostly in Canada, a place she frequented almost every weekend. She joked with me about how the border guards must have known her by name.

    Her dancing days came to a close when she broke her foot at age 19. However, she still has her license to teach this unique art. She continued on to do a lot of professional musical theatre. Unfortunately, the biggest memory from this time that she shares with me is the time she contracted mono in the middle of a performing season. It takes real dedication stomp across a stage when you can barely stand up behind the curtain. ”I mean, the show must go on… you just have to push forward.”

    She has pushed forward from a lot of difficulties that life has a tendency to bring; a monumental challenge of her’s involves the tricky nature of dealing with her own gender. A few unsavory, coup d'etat experiences with other girls has left her befriending a majority of easier-going males.

    “I got burned by a lot of girls growing up, so I mostly have guy friends. Instead of playing with Barbies or joining in on dress-up sessions after school, she typically ran to the streets to see what the boys were up to. “Like, let’s sword fight in the middle of the street. Or play video games!”

    Kira doesn’t seem like one much for drama, either. This is the girl who would most like to spend her time on a tour bus in the “swingin’ era” without air conditioning, traveling around sharing her music and turning strangers into friends.

    “The 20s and 30s are my favorite, the music that came out of that time was just so hot, fast and drippy, full of emotion. Jazz is just… my favorite thing ever! I’m so hungry for this music, it speaks directly to my soul.”

    Kira can not stay out of this scene. She even worked as a flapper girl for a historical company and performed arrangements and trios from the 20s. She is soulful and eclectic by nature, but don’t be fooled by her easy demeanor. Kira is also the first to volunteer for an impromptu ultimate frisbee match, going out for a run or dancing.

    It should seem almost natural then that she has also invested her energy in learning how to play an array of instruments:  Ukulele, Guitar, Melodica, Fiddle, Violin, Drums, Bass, Piano, Celtic Flutes,
    Auto Harp (She threw this in my lap and made me play it- what a fun instrument!)

    Swing to Kira’s tune

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