Kira Small
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Kira Small

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1994 | INDIE | AFTRA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 1994
Solo R&B Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Kira Small and Bryan Beller - Live at the White House"

"Kira Small is every bit as sassy and smart in her vocals as any of those monstrous talents from the golden days, and she brings to the party a modern, smoky soul that makes me want to start taking a look at her previous, right now!

The songs on this solid R&B album have everything I want. Mood, subtlety, soul, groove, infectious keyboard licks, and tremendous basslines. The entire album just makes me want to light up a cig and curl my lip in a sneer...and I don't even smoke!

There isn't a song on this entire album that could be considered a weak link. It's all A-List material, well played and sincere. From start to finish, Small's voice rules with rock steady tone and power. She's the lightning to Beller's thunder, and together they cook up a seriously delicious storm." - Thunder Row - CD review excerpt - Elmeaux

"Intimate shows bring down the house"

Covington, Georgia -- Around a northern Georgia home sporadically illuminated by fireflies and distant lightning, music rises as darkness falls. A couple dozen smiling guests, glasses of sweet tea or white wine in their hands, settle onto sofas or lean against doorposts.

It's time for the magic to begin.

This is a house concert, a growing phenomenon in which musicians perform in private living rooms for a small but attentive paying audience.

The connection between performer and patron is almost palpable.

"We've seen magic happen here," said Natalie Cole, who recently co-hosted a house concert by folk singer Jonathan Byrd at her friend Cindy Ladd's mountainside home in Dahlonega, Georgia.

"There's an interaction that occurs between the artist and the audience that's different from anything that I've experienced in a club or a venue like a bar. It's more intimate."

Audience members "are here for the music," Ladd said. "They're not here to find a date or to cruise around the bar and talk."

And artists appreciate not having to compete with billiard games or blaring televisions.

"There's this intimacy to it where, as a storyteller and an acoustic musician, the subtleties of that kind of craft can come across," Byrd said. "When you're in a really big place with a lot of people, it's harder to get the subtlety of acoustic music, the dynamic range of it."

That intimacy is just as valuable to a big-voiced R&B singer like Kira Small. She and husband-bassist Bryan Beller have been performing at house concerts for about a year, most recently in Bill and Teri Hooson's tightly packed living room in Covington, Georgia.

"We just love being able to connect with everybody this closely," said Small, standing barefoot behind her electronic keyboard not 10 feet from the first row of seats.

"If we get a bigger crowd, I tell people, 'You may not have been friends when you got here, but you'll be friends by the time you leave,' " said Bill Hooson, who has been hosting monthly house concerts for 30 years.

"We've just always had music in and around our house," he said.

Concert hosts usually ask guests to make a $15 to $30 donation; they don't call it an admission charge because that would make the venture a business and raise zoning issues, said Fran Snyder, who runs, one of several sites that help match performers with home venues.

Snyder's site also offers practical advice for hosts.

"It's not rocket science, but it does take a little bit of effort," he said. "You've got to be friendly with your neighbors if you're going to do this stuff."

Interest in house concerts is growing "by magnitude," Snyder said. When he started the website four years ago, he was getting four or five inquiries a day; now he gets that many per hour, he said.

Texas is a hotbed for house concerts, as is the urban Northeast, Snyder said, including Brooklyn, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts. And "California is just on fire with it. We have probably a hundred hosts in California," he said.

Other concert networking sites include and Russ & Julie's House Concerts in Los Angeles, California, provides a rich resource page at

Artists also are using Twitter and Facebook to announce that they will be touring in a certain area on a given date and are available for house concerts on surrounding nights, Snyder said.

Besides the artistic benefits, there's a clear economic advantage for the performers: All the donations go to them.

"When you play in a club, the house gets a cut, the sound man gets a cut, the door man gets a cut, and by the end of it, there's no cut for the artist," Byrd said.

"I can play for 300 people at a club and make as much or less money as I make playing for 40 or 50 people here tonight."

Some hosts pay the artist a set amount regardless of the gate, while others pay whatever is collected.

"I like to have a guarantee for the artist," said Ladd, the host in Dahlonega. "Sometimes I've had to pay out of my pocket, but I'd still rather they leave with what they were expecting to leave with."

The musicians also usually don't have to book a hotel.

"Often, the hosts will provide artists a place to stay, which is another touring cost, and they usually feed us too, which is really nice," Small said.

Additionally, those intimate audiences often are eager to buy CDs and T-shirts from their new musician friends.

"Sometimes they'll buy everything you've got," said Snyder, himself a touring folk musician and award-winning songwriter.

Things don't always go perfectly. Small recalled playing an outdoor house concert that was visited by a surprise rainstorm. But the audience opted to go with the flow.

"It was like Woodstock out there, with people stomping around in the mud and dancing in the rain," Small said.

Hosts generally don't make any money from their effor -

"CD Review excerpt"

"Kira Small is a songstress able to transcend her Midwestern upbringing into a sound that is multidimensional and timeless...hers is a voice that gently and at times spiritually strokes the senses like the hairs on a feather, but can still whollop you like a Rocky Balboa knock-out punch.

She jokes that she doesn’t sound like a regular white chick from Milwaukee, and she is dead-on...that girl can 'sang.'"

- Yolanda D. White 5/25/05

- Shepherd Express - Milwaukee, WI

"CD Review"

Nashville-based Kira Small has just released Love In A Dangerous World, and our guess is that it won't be long before the world, dangerous or otherwise, takes notice.

The title track kicks things off with a laid-back Latin-flavored groove. Things get funkier with "Not Me Without You," a mid-tempo piece in which Small channels the Queen of Soul herself. "Miss You Bad Tonight" practically drips with longing, while the forbidden affair in "Not Supposed To Love You" makes being bad sound oh so good.

Small will woo your ears with stratospheric vocal runs and then dive down to sexy, Earth-mama lows. She may be loving in a dangerous world, but she's certainly giving it a seductive soundtrack. - Performing Songwriter

"Quote from Maura O'Connell"

"For me, the measure of a singer is how he or she draws me to the universal truth within a song, and Kira is a wonderful emotional guide.” - recording artist

"Quote from Mike Reid"

"This is a singer! Kira Small speaks clearly and directly from a deep place. She compels me to listen, really listen. In doing so, I'm convinced that she believes every word... This is my idea of a real Artist." - Grammy award-winning songwriter


"Live At The White House" (w/Bryan Beller)
Mermaid Holler Records 2011

"Raise My Voice"
Offrow Records 2010

"Love In A Dangerous World"
Offrow Records 2006

"Wanderin' Star"
Crooked Whistle Music 2003



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I Will Raise My Voice, Kira Smalls 2012 Independent Music Award winning song, not only happens to be her life mantra but also the perfect descriptor of her winding artistic path. Mapping her musical street cred literally takes an atlas, and pursuing her calling has taken her across the globe, connecting with an army of hearts and minds that cant resist her honest writing and soul-stirring voice. Small was born with one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks voices that makes it clear she was given a gift, but she has tempered it into a sublime instrument of the highest caliber through her dedication to the hours behind the keyboard and the miles on the odometer.

Growing up in Wisconsin, Small's musical focus and drive was strong enough to send her to a performing arts high school in Milwaukee. She played keys in a jazz group and sang in several choirs while there, and her list of influences grew from the classic country of her childhood to include names like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Aretha Franklin. Small continued her musical immersion after high school by attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was steeped in new music and studying theory and technique, but it was a summer job at Fiesta Texas in San Antonio that rekindled the joy of performing for crowds of people and taught her the musical work ethic that doing three shows a day six days a week can bring. A stint playing in a New Orleans piano bar and then five years in Austin, Texas further sealed Smalls fate as a natural entertainer with the full calendar to prove it.

After spending two years as a member of Berklee's Voice Department Faculty, Small relocated to Nashville in 2001 and has called it home ever since. While singing on recordings and in bands for the likes of Peter Frampton, Wynonna Judd, Radney Foster, and Martina McBride, Kira started honing in on her unique sound. Being such a vocal chameleon had kept me working for sure, but I needed to find out which voice was actually mine, she recalls. She recorded two albums with producer Bruce Dees (James Brown, Ronnie Milsap) with a decidedly R&B bent, and Small found a home for her fiery, energetic vocal style. Her latest studio album, Raise My Voice, features Motown and Muscle Shoals studio veterans wrapping their groove around Smalls original compositions as her exquisite voice more than holds its own with these legends of R&B.

Currently working on a new album and keeping up with a busy touring schedule in both America and Europe, Kira Small has finally found the sweet spot where her influences and her original voice as a writer combine into a musical life she is passionate about. She has also grown her voice into an instrument that moves crowds with its disciplined abandon and subtle nuance; listeners know they are hearing something special. At each live show Small desires, To leave people feeling inspired, feeling heard, liberated to get up and dance, feeling saucier than they might normally give themselves permission to feel. As Grammy award-winning songwriter Mike Reid (I Cant Make You Love Me) puts it, You sound like a neat glass of single malt in a world of Michelob Ultra." 

Band Members