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Petra Haden

About this Artist

One of the triplet daughters of famed jazz bassist Charlie Haden, Petra Haden is carrying on her family’s musical legacy, lending her ability to improvise––vocally and on violin and mandolin––to collaborations with musicians in several genres. She can be found singing and playing on the recordings of Bill Frisell, Mike Watt, Susanna Hoffs, Beck, Foo Fighters, John Zorn, Jesse Harris, Sunn O))), Megan Mullally, Rufus Wainwright and others, including her brother Josh and his band, Spain. Petra has also recorded with her sisters, Rachel and Tanya, joining them to form the Haden Triplets in homage to the folk and country Americana that were her father’s original love.

Petra describes her approach to playing and recording in saying, “People ask me sometimes what category musician and singer I am, and I never know how to answer because I’m no category. I just do the best I can to make sense of myself and the music in front of me. I like experimenting with different sounds in all genres because it’s cool to hear what the result is.I love music. I’ve always wanted to sound like I was in a choir or an orchestra. That’s why I love layering my voice; whenever I collaborate with people, I want to make it sound unique and different. I like to Petrafy it.”

Petra began to experiment with improvisation and layered recording during her first year of college. By trial and error, and by ear, those musical studies taught Petra to create solo, multi-track, a-cappella recordings. Her solo albums, particularly 1996’s Imaginaryland and 2005’s Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out, have brought Petra far-reaching music industry recognition, and her touring and studio collaborations have fueled her curiosity and further developed her talent. In 2022, she partnered with guitarist Greg Anderson to create Devotional, an exploration of the Vedic-inspired tones of India’s classical music, with Petra chanting ecstatic melodies over Anderson’s dense sustained riffs. The mid-2023 release Planet Chernobyl finds Petra providing full orchestration for an opera, working with bassist Mike Watt to score a libretto written by legendary underground poet Charles Plymell.