“Bathing in the sound of her voice and music while coming along on her lyrical journey is hands-down one of my favorite experiences.” –Jay DeRosa, long-time fan
Hannah Stokes is an indie-folk singer-songwriter based in Orlando, FL. Influenced by the jazz-infused folk songwriting of Joni Mitchell mixed with the sweet folk-pop sound of artists like Madison Cunningham and Laufey, she forges an entrancing sonic landscape to invite you into her inner world. She carries a sultry voice that radiates throughout a room and original songs that explore powerful personal stories, reaching an audience eager to connect with her music.
A recent winner of Best Singer-Songwriter in Orlando Weekly’s 2022 Best of Orlando Readers Poll, Hannah exudes an earnest sincerity that is a can’t-miss experience. Through emotional and meaningful performances, she can captivate anyone’s attention and bring together those around her to not only share what is spilling from her heart, but to also provide a sense of connection among anyone listening in.
The inspiration behind Hannah’s music stems from her struggle to understand and process the events in life that have shaped her into who she has become as she has transitioned into young adulthood. To cope with the strangeness, newness, and sometimes pain of existence, she dissects her experiences into bite-sized pieces in the form of poems and songs, encapsulating an experience, thought, or feeling in words and music to achieve a sense of grounding and acceptance within her circumstances. For Hannah, songwriting is a way to reconcile who she has been, who she is becoming, and who she wants to be. In the same way, Hannah hopes that her music can be a vehicle of process and healing for the lives of others, providing the comfort of connection while they dissect their own experiences and feelings.
Read Hannah’s Interview on Orlando Voyager
Hannah’s latest release, Hollow Bones, revolves around the discovery of love, affection, infatuation, and identity through one’s growth from adolescence to adulthood. The five songs—plus a bonus track available on the physical release—feature the debut of her full band, as well as the compelling vocal arrangements and potent production we have come to expect from her work.
“Orlando indie-folk songstress Hannah Stokes has been working toward this emergence for a long time. Her Hollow Bones EP will be her first collection in more than seven years… though, it seems the time’s been well-spent ripening her sensibilities to finally match her natural and enveloping voice.” –Bao Le-Huu, Orlando Weekly
The youthful sound of her freshman EP, Something Along the Lines Of, explores five original songs that tell their own individual and personal stories while showcasing Hannah’s warm voice and acoustic sound.
As a performer, Hannah has made her way across the Orlando area, playing local venues like Will’s Pub, The Social, and HENAO as well as theme parks and festivals such as Orlando Wine Fest and Central Florida Earth Day Fest. She regularly performs with various local groups like cover duo Brian + Hannah and the explosive collective Brian G’s JamFam.
A blossoming jazz vocalist, Hannah has shared the stage with big bands such as The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Space Coast Symphony Jazz Orchestra, the Orlando Jazz Orchestra, and Jukebox Saturday Night. She has also been awarded scholarships from the Central Florida Jazz Society‘s Scholarship Competition 3 years in a row, winning 2nd place in 2021, 2nd place in 2020, and 4th place in 2019.
Hannah continues to develop her personal sound and cultivate Orlando’s vibrant music scene by bringing together other local talent for exciting performances and inspiring collaborations. Her most recent endeavor, under the name SongStringer Presents, is an events organization that celebrates songwriters throughout Central Florida and beyond. Current residencies include the Inspired By series at Uncle Lou’s Entertainment Hall on every 1st Thursday of the month as well as the Songwriters Rising event at Bynx Orlando every 3rd Friday of the month. More information can be found on the official Instagram page.
In addition to being an avid performer and writer, Hannah is also a passionate student and teacher. She began her formal music education at Valencia College in Orlando, FL studying Jazz Vocal Performance under acclaimed jazz vocalist Michelle Mailhot. During this time, she gained experience in musical theater, contemporary religious music, commercial music, and recording arts.
After her time at Valencia College, she went on to study at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL where she focused on both Classical and Contemporary Music under the tutelage of soprano Anna Eschbach.
The impact that these educators and institutions had on Hannah inspired her to become a teacher herself. Since 2018, Hannah has been applying her experience and education to instruct private lessons for a variety of instruments. Hannah teaches voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele as well as music theory and composition.