I’m Hannah Smalltree — I work in tech (big data), play music on the weekends and love new experiences and adventures. I sing all kinds of music: my own originals or cover songs generally in the soul, blues, jazz, country and Americana styles.
I live in California and travel frequently for my day job in technology marketing. I’m from New Hampshire and moved to CA in 2012, lured by sunshine, the Pacific Ocean and Silicon Valley. This move also inspired me to write and unleash more original music, sharing a lifetime of material. Recently, I’ve been focused on recording and performing my own songs. I also sing with several Santa Cruz, CA area bands and at countless jams, open mics and events…basically, whenever you’ll let me near a mic.
In 2015, I began volunteering with the New Hope Band, a music group with all “special needs” including autism, Down Syndrome and developmental disabilities. I’m now the director, practicing weekly with the group for performances around the Bay Area and beyond (like the World Special Olympics last year!) I want more people to experience the New Hope Band! In the coming year, I hope to help connect the band with more fans and sponsors. It is absolutely inspirational to see this band play!
New Solo Project: I’m writing and recording more original music these days, which I’m sharing online and eventually plan to play around with a band or….? I get a lot of inspiration during travel, I bring my ukulele and iPad with me on most business trips.
The New Hope Band: I direct a rock band with all special needs performers, which includes keys, drums, percussion and about 10 singers, including a few in wheelchairs. We sing a wide variety of songs – from Motown to modern pop hits.
Seaside Sisters is a playful, all-female acoustic cover band featuring vocal harmonies, ukulele, recorders and creative percussion (vibraslap!) Me and Catherine Lewis (and whoever else we invite) cover quirky, kitschy and classic songs from the 1950s to today — from Hank Williams to Blondie.
Before those: Over 2015-16, I sang with Uke Ellington, which plays jazz standards and new american songbook with an unusual blend of ukulele, standup bass and violin. I’ve sat in with many local bands in Santa Cruz, Capitola and beyond.
Back on the east coast, I was the lead singer of Soul Junket, a soul band New England area from 2000 through 2004. I was the co-lead of the short-lived (but totally awesome) party & function band, Splenda, with the gorgeous and talented Mary Kull. I was a regular guest at the Portsmouth Press Room’s Tuesday night jazz session, and studied with Portsmouth’s Sharon Jones (just as cool, but less well known than the nationally known Sharon Jones.) I’ve also had the incredible opportunity to be backup and guest singer with numerous bands, including the Amorphous Band, Sharon Jones Band and New Orleans-based Bonerama…as well as endless jam sessions, jazz nights, boat cruises, beach fires and house parties across the US.
My tech career
I love music, but also my business career. I am a writer and marketing professional with lots of tech startup experience, particularly in data and analytics. I really enjoy talking with people, writing “content” as we call it now (articles, blogs, video) and maybe not surprisingly, presenting/moderating at events. (Hey, any mic will do!) I am Director of Product Marketing at Cazena, a big data as a service provider based in Waltham, MA. I have specific market knowledge in big data, analytics, business intelligence, data warehousing and data management.
If you’re still curious:
- I also do a lot of open water ocean swimming (Alcatraz, etc.), surfing (with more enthusiasm than skill), mountain biking and I enjoy being outside.
- I love practicing yoga, and it’s been a huge influence on my life. I used to lead classes, specializing in gentle yoga and the Yoga Warriors program for Veterans.
- I’m not Native American. My last name is made up by hippie parents. It’s been this since birth. Buy me a scotch and I’ll explain.