Born in the U.S. to an American mother and a Lebanese father, Hanna spent her early years home-schooled while traveling around the world with her family. From the time she was able to speak, Hanna has been humming and singing and dreaming of music. At the age of four she recorded a jingle project for Radio Disney, and from that point on she performed in various musicals and events through her teens.
She began studying at Berklee College of Music in September 2007 and until graduation in May 2010, with a Bachelor of Music in Songwriting as a voice principle, Hanna performed in songwriting showcases, performance competitions, ensemble recitals and some principal productions, including her own Commencement Concert May 7, 2010 at the Agannis Arena at Boston University honoring guest artists: Paco de Lucia, Angelique Kidjo, Gamble and Huff, and Kenny Barron.
Passionate about her Lebanese heritage, Hanna strives to represent the culture, language, music and, most importantly, the social/political struggles. She was a member of the Berklee Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble for two years, performing with distinguished artists such as Simone Shaheen of Palestine, Bassam Saba of Lebanon, Erkan Ogur, and Laço Tayfa's Hüsnü Şenlendirici of Turkey.
She also performed with the New Kids on the Block, Kirk Franklin, and the New York Gypsy All-Stars. She personally directed and performed in the group representing the Middle East in the Berklee 2009 International Folk Festival. She headlined at the Boston “House of Blues” main stage in May of 2010.
At 21, Hanna moved to Beirut, Lebanon, to pursue two of her true loves: music and the Arabic language. She performed her original fusion music, as well as a variety of cover tunes throughout the country, forming a deep bond with her band mates and forging a lasting impression in the community. From there, the world was her stage, traveling, performing and living abroad.
Aside from touring in the Middle East, Hanna has performed throughout the Ottawa-Gatineau area of Canada, in the states of Yucatan and Guanajuato, Mexico, as well as numerous cities across the U.S.A, such as New York City, NY, and now in her new home, Austin, TX!
Influenced and inspired by hard rock and popular music styles, Hanna combines Eastern music with contemporary Western music, demonstrating her own varied cultural background while connecting with others – both those displaced from their homelands and influenced by multiple cultures around them, and mainstream audiences that appreciate writings of personal encounters, relationships, life issues, circumstances and, of course, love. The simple concept of combining world music styles (Eastern Rock Fusion) allows for intercultural connections among the musicians as well.
“It is amazing to see young adults from various backgrounds, religions, mindsets, prejudices, etc. that would normally separate them, join together and produce such brilliant sounds… Those unique situations are the fertilizer for peaceful soil… and this Earth needs much of that.” –Hanna Barakat
American University of Beirut, Lebanon — Traditional Arabic & Lebanese Dialect Studies, 2010
International Vocal and Instrumental Performance Artist
USA, Canada, Lebanon, Mexico — 2010 – present
Musical Director | Songwriter | Lead Singer | Manager
Booking and performing solo, duo, or with a full band for public venues, private & corporate events, weddings and festivals. Original music as well as cover acts, tailored to occasion.
Yo Team Assistant – Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts — 2008-2010
Working with executive producers Rob Rose and Ken Zambello on all musical events held at and for Berklee College, managing back stage productions, auditioning singers and players for major productions, emceeing events and acting as personal assistant for all guest artists on location.
Vocal instructor/Singing Coach – Guiding students to realize their musical potential through vocal exercises, sight reading, intro to music theory; hands-on experience utilizing microphones, live stage equipment and developing a confident personal stage presence.
Business – Exceptional sales experience, management, customer service, administration and musical event production.
The New York Gypsy All-Stars
Berklee Middle Eastern All-Stars
New England: TD Banknorth Gardens, Mohegan Sun, Providence Civic Center, The House of Blues - Boston, Boston University Agganis Arena, Berklee Performance Center, Berklee Café 939, Berklee David Friend Recital Hall, the Berklee LOFT, the Berklee RED Room, Church of Boston, All Asia, Fisher College, Harvard University
NYC: Webster Hall, Carnegie Hall, Bowery Poetry Club, Knitting Factory, Bowery Electric, Rockwood Music Hall, Shrine, Bushwick Public House, HellPhone, Gussy’s, Pianos, Bar 9, Mad River
Texas: Craft Pride, The Blackheart, Eureka!, BD Riley’s Irish Pub, Dizzy Rooster, The Vulcan Gas Company, Cafe Mueller, the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Twin Creeks Country Club, Lost Creek Country Club, Tapatio Springs Hill County Resort & Spa, The Salt Lick, Compass Rose Cellars, Pecan Street Brewing Company
Mexico: Sunset Bar & Lounge, Sala Rosa, Cafe Rama, Mamma Mia’s, Tapas SMA
Canada: Woody’s, Peter Devine’s, Heart & Crown (Byward Market & Preston St.), Schnitzels, Bay Street Bistro & Bar, The Glen, Pour House/Aulde Dubliner, Highlander Pub, Royal Oaks (multiple locations), Pub 101, Rainbow Bistro, Barley Mow (Barrhaven), Deacon Brodie's
Middle East: Hard Rock Cafe - Beirut, Razz’zz Jazz Bar, Hotel Le Grey, Dany’s, Walimat Wardeh, Captain’s Cabin, Grafitti, Name this Bar, Knock On Wood, G. Bar, Oaks
CREDITS, HONORS & AWARDS
- Indie International Songwriting Contest 2016 - 1st Place Winner for Original Rock Composition, “Cycle”, 2016
- Indi.com and America's Got Talent - Judge’s Pick, Los Angeles Castings - for Original Song Challenge, and a front of-the-line pass to audition live for the producers, “Leave Your Light On”, 2016
- Indi.com - Judge’s Pick, Original Rock Challenge, “Leave Your Light On”, 2016
- Music I/O - Original Rock Challenge - 1st Place, “Criminal” 2015
- Music I/O - Original Song Challenge (All Genres) - 3rd Place Overall, “Criminal”, 2015
- Berklee College of Music – Songs for Social Change Runner-Up, "Cycle," 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Women Musicians Network Competition Winner, "Cycle," 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Substance Abuse Awareness Competition Finalist, "Let Go," 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Songwriting Department Annual Competition Winner, original "Cycle," 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Walter W. Harp Liberal Arts Music & Society Award, Excellence Award, 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Lester Lanin Endowed Scholarship, 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Jack Maher Award, Songwriting Department, 2010
- Berklee College of Music – Songwriting Department Performer/Songwriter Competition Winner, "Wanting to Go Home," 2009
- Berklee College of Music – Berklee Achievement Based Scholarship, 2009-2010
- Berklee College of Music - Student Ambassador, 2009
- Berklee College of Music - Dean's List 2007-2010