Brianna Lea Pruett (1983-2015)

By Keely Sadira Dorran

On the evening of September 2nd in 2015, I received the difficult news that my younger sister, Brianna, had passed away. She was a physically healthy 32-year old artist, musician, poet, film-maker and brilliantly loving soul. What can be said about this woman that can reveal her creative, insightful, unique presence to those who hadn't met her in this life? She was loved immeasurably by so many fellow creatives and friends, as well as our large extended family, and (I learned) even strangers. Virtually everyone she came into contact with felt blessed by her presence, and had the experience of a deep sense of personal, meaningful connection with her. Although I observed this phenomena during her life - and experienced it myself in my own way from the time our parents told us Mom was pregnant -  it became clear to me after her death that this charismatic gift had far out-shined my previous perception of it. I came to know her anew through the stories and memories shared by her expansive circle of friends, colleagues, and fans.

During her life, Brianna was my sister as well as my best friend, collaborator, and life partner in many ways. Along with the rest of our family, especially our mother, Karen, and older sister, Dania, we share a desire to continue to remember Brianna via her many inspired creative works. Our love for her will never end, and we know she feels the same about us, and about her many beloved friends and adopted family on this earth. In that spirit, we continue to promote her works, in the hope that her talents can bring joy, peace, insight, and understanding to new audiences, going forward in time. We believe her life and creations are valuable not just to us on a personal level, but to anyone who responds and resonates with them, and we encourage folks to explore the expressions she made during her mortality, knowing that Brianna's love and compassion - her best self - are eternal, and that her spirit shines on from the perfect peace of that next estate, completely free from mortal tribulations. Until we meet again, Brianna, may our Creator always bless you! 



Brianna Lea Pruett commands a very subtle magic. ~ Now This Sound Is Brave

Breathtaking Folk ~ Bullett Magazine

Songwriter, singer, painter and poet Brianna Lea Pruett’s musical expressions travel widely, much like herself. Born in the mountains of Northern California, she plays California folk, country, and the musical style of her Appalachian and Southeastern Woodlands heritage with equal passion as compositions that show a love for jazz, blues, and soul music.

A musical education that came mostly from other people’s vinyl collections, she started writing seriously as a teenager, performing jazz standards with a band and folk music in a style modern yet threaded with Americana’s history.

She has worked with diverse artists, and carries that personal tradition forward.

Pruett has shared stages with Jonah Matranga of Far and Gratitude, Jacob Golden, Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters, Two Sheds, Nick Jaina, Coal Beautiere, Karl Blau, Lady Lazarus, Good Shield Aguilar, and others. One continued influence she cites is her philosophy of art making. “Being an artist, a writer, a commentator or contributor has responsibilities of being authentic to one’s important things in life.”  Love, family, home, and heritage consistently show up in the music.

Pruett released an LP recording available on cd, vinyl and through all major online retailers, Gypsy Bells, out on Canyon Records in 2013. The record received outstanding reviews and was featured in PASTE Magazine’s Best of What’s Next. Her latest EP We Come In All Colors is out now on Amazon and iTunes, and be sure to check out a recent Daytrotter session. 



A multi-media performance, music, digital and visual artist, composer, director, and poet, Brianna enjoys working in every medium.

“My work as a painter is a river with many tributaries. I draw inspiration from other artists, poets, musicians, from my varied cultures of origin, and from nature. I paint things that settle and inspire my spirit, that give me joy, or have meaning to me, or to experiment & play. Canvases are stretched by me about once a year with art friends. Topo maps are found or donated. At times my work can be whimsical; the child in me is often at play. Travels in Europe and South America have inspired new processes and the use of new materials. "I believe that we are interested in restoring our place in harmony with nature and each other. I paint to inspire that remembering, and because I have joy in it."

Film explorations include a collection of short films, Roses For Maya Deren, and a study of film at university. 

CV selections: Brianna Lea Pruett

1983 born in Shingle Springs, California

Lived and worked in Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento, California

2015 died in Sacramento, California



2013 – 2015 Academy of Art University, Film

2008-2011 Folsom Lake College, Psychology and Fine Art

2002-2004 Santa Monica College, Fine Art



2015 ARC SummerWords creative writing festival, Sacramento

2013 Zap Mama  Zap Mama Vocal Workshop, Sebastopol

2010 Meredith Monk Dancing Voice, Singing Body workshop, New York



2016 Posthumous Appearance, Solidarity w/ Standing Rock, digital compilation album, Sacramento

2015 We Come In All Colors, EP, Canyon Records, Phoenix

2015 May 21, 2015 Daytrotter Session, Rock Island, Illinois

2014 Appearance, Putumayo Presents Native America, Putumayo World Music, New York

2013 Gypsy Bells, full length album, Canyon Records, Phoenix

2012 Keeping You In Mind, EP, Tiger Friends Collective, Placerville

2011 The Stars, the Moon, the Owl, the Cougar, and You, full length album, Tiger Friends Collective, Placerville

2011 Appearance, Alak, Groups, KDVS Records

2011 Appearance, Pregnant, Life Hard I Try, Mush Records

2011 Appearance, The Shants, Beautiful Was the Night, Oakland

2009 Winter Apple, full length album, Tiger Friends Collective, Sacramento

2004 Winter Apple, full length album, self released, Sacramento

2009 Natural Fact, full length album Tiger Friends Collective, Sacramento

2008 Appearance, Dead Western, Soften Your Screams Into Sings, 2008, Sacramento

2002 Natural Fact, full length album, self released, Los Angeles

2001 Dreamland, EP, Los Angeles



2005-2015 Roses For Maya Deren series, (various lengths) San Francisco, Los Angeles, Eureka, Sacramento, Placerville, West Yellowstone, New York

2012 Our Love And Voices, from Roses For Maya Deren series, 4:24, West Yellowstone

2001 Dreams Undreamt online public film archive, (various lengths) Placerville, Nevada City, Sacramento, New York



2015 Photographs, SCOPE Art Miami, Miami

2013 Portraits and Dreams, Gathering Tribes, Albany

2013 Scribble It Down, Emergent Art Space, Online global collaborative

2012 Mum’s the Word, Mills Pond House Gallery, New York

2012 G Hum Parade, single-note parade, Sacramento

2011 Corporate Wrath, Marco Fuoco Gallery, Sacramento

2010 6×6 Project, Charmingwall Gallery, New York

2006 fem·in·art an exhibition, University of California, Los Angeles

2003 Feed, collaboration with Alexis Disselkoen, Santa Monica



2012 Dreams Undreamt with Stan Okumura, public film online archive, worldwide

2001 Psychic Garage Sale, Gallery 21, Sacramento



2016 "Folk Musicians to the Front: Native Musicians on Standing Rock" by Sean Jewell, American Standard Time, Dec 4.

2015 "Gambling with Alicia" The Belleville Park Pages, 38

2015 "Heart Thoughts" Poems For All #1301

2014 "K" Blue Moon Literary Art & Review

2013, “WATER, LIGHT, SAILS UP! RECKLESS” Rabbit and Rose, Issue 05, San Francisco, online journal

2013 Buffalo Field Campaign Yellowstone Country Wild Bison calendar, West Yellowstone, Montana

2012 G Hum Parade, Impose Magazine, Brooklyn, NY, online publication

2011 Turtle Island To Abya Yala, Malinalli Press, San Francisco


Sundance Institute, 2013 – d. 2015

California Art Club, 2012 – d. 2015

ASCAP (Soft and Loud Music) 2006 – 2015 and beyond as Estate