Born: September 2 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Ms. Collins plays trumpet and flugelhorn like a twenty-first century Miles Davis Derek Ansell - Jazz Journal International
...one of the best out there on the current trumpet community. Your section playing, tone, control, and solo chops, outstanding!! Eric Miyashiro
Her phrasing, sound and lyricism remind me of great singers. For me, that is one of the best compliments that I could give to any trumpet player! Mike Vax
Classically trained at Manhattan School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy, Kiku brings professionalism to every job in every style, with her sense of humor and sense of adventure that leads her to play and sing with a diverse group of artists.
While Kiku has been seen around town, as well as around the world, with major pop stars - most notably Beyonce and (currently) Michael Bolton, she has truly found her voice in Here With Me. This smoothly satisfying album redefines evocative jazzy compositions and rich orchestration. Her multiple tracking on the flugelhorn, muted trumpet and trombone, showcases a level of musicianship of the highest order and demonstrates what a band of Kikus might sound like.
In addition to her solo album and work with other artists, Kiku has been heard the world over in television and radio commercials for such clients as Sprite, ABC Nightline, Checkers, Miller, Sony, HBO Latin, Visa, Burger King, Ikea, Carefree Gum, Phillips, Wisk, Certs and many others. Ms. Collins has also produced an impressive number of commercials.
Kiku is not only a featured Getzen trumpet artist, but her debut album has been featured on many radio stations, and has gotten tons of press from publications, including a 7 page feature article in the International Trumpet Guild, the cover article in The Brass Herald, BBC, Black Owl Music, Le Jazz Affair, Radiophone, WEMU 89.1 in Michigan, NPR, a 3 page article in Jazz Colours Magazine in June 2007 (which hails Collins the Princess of Smooth Jazz), Vinilemania, The Jazz Suite, Hot House Jazz, Smooth Jazz, CMJ, WMPG, WGBH, Harris Radio, Julian's Flight, Trumpetgig.com, The Fevered Brain of Radio Mike... and her Getzen posters and ads can be seen all over in schools, music shops, and in Jazz Times Magazine, The International Trumpet Guild Magazine, and educational publications
... the result is really good music; in the contemporary manner, in terms of instrumentation and recording practices but sounding fresh and inspired all through. I would urge all enthusiasts to put aside pre- conceived notions of any kind and just listen. It is well worth the effort. Derek Ansell - Jazz Journal International
Kiku is a MUSICAL trumpet player. Her phrasing, sound and lyricism remind me of great singers. For me, that is one of the best compliments that I could give to any trumpet player! I really enjoy listening to her CD and would highly recommend it to others. (Trumpet players or not.) --Mike Vax
...Upon first hearing Kiku Collins, that overwhelming feeling of discovering something extraordinary is unavoidable. To those of us with the overpowering lust for the aesthetics of Melody...these occurrences are special. Someone who consistently dishes- out, track after track...after track of unbelievably beautiful melody is surreal and definitely calls for a celebratory bonfire among devotees of tuneful improvisation. Well beyond her years --- as evinced by the language of her finely accented phrasing --- she can hang a note like a sky on fire over a steady, potent Latin rhythm or do a mid-air pause to highlight ( she pauses to highlight ) the sweetness of a chordal turn. Musical improvisation requires unfaltering instinct, listening and as equally --- timing. Kiku wields and uses them at her disposal to fully facilitate the vigor of a melodious interplay...from player to player; the free-flow always leads to sonorous mind-vistas, woven together by the spontaneity of a craftily circulating woodwind... Levitation calmly takes you on a wonder-sojourn without leaving your physical space...the lift is total. Blues Again has the steady radiance of a quiet fire. It smolders but, doesn't burn...the cool glow draws you in...slowburning...riveting. 1,2,3--- Go!...Cartoons of the Prophet is hip-vibery. Tuned-in to the world but, wound around a charming melody; detached from real-life...as the pretty Ninja Princess evokes harmony--not only musically-- but to those who listen with a Center--The beauty in all things is apparent. --Julian Ardella - Julian's Flight
Kiku Collins Here With Me, is almost a force of quiet, but determined, Nature. I met Kiku in New York City just before I escaped to Austin, Texas when she was gigging with the New York City Blues Devils. At the time, I thought they were slumming from New Orleans and parts South. They were that convincing and the horn solos, mostly expertly played by Kiku, were that authentic. Her talent seems second to none, having learned it at a very early age, enrolling at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, after doing a 2 summer stint at their National Music Camp. From there, she went on to study classical performance at Manhattan School of Music. She's very easy on the eyes. Most recently, she's been Beyonce Knowles' trumpet player since June 2006. When I say she's that good, I mean she's THAT good. The overall mood of the album is almost cinematic, and as you listen to it from beginning to end, you'll see the most amazing scenes playing in your head. This is a film score that needs a film. I’ll freely admit that I am not as much of a Jazzhead as I would like to be, but certainly not as much as you are. My forte is Indie and many things Pop, so it would be unfair to comment upon each of these amazing tracks with the opinion of an expert. However, I know good, pristinely produced music when I hear it, and I know what I like. Here With Me doesn’t suffer from the same self-produced unmastered genericism that some music that is sent in to my radio network does. Furthermore, there are only two covers included here. The remaining eight tracks were written by Kiku herself and they sound like instant classics . The album is an understated Wall Of Sound that deserves to be heard outside of the Jazz World. -- Mike Perazzetti - Radio Mike
There is no mistake about it, Kiku Collins' new album Here With Me is incredibly exciting and very well-done. Great jazz! I have perused my personal collection of some of the best players in this genre of great trumpet players from Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis, all the way down to Arturo Sandoval and Derek Watson, and this album is one of the best SOUNDING in my collection. The Dynamic Duo of Kiku Collins and Julian Harris have put together some very tasteful arrangements that is sure to make this album one of the hottest jazz releases of 2007. The two ballads on this album that are especially impressive are the title song, Here With Me and The Messenger. Collins' sound has never been captured better and she plays with a brilliant fire, a wonderful clarity AND definitely taste. Her funky mid-range statement of the melody in the middle of the Blues Again chart blew me away! Cartoons of the Prophet and Confidential also both give Collins a chance to shine playing the MELODY and knocking it totally out of the park. What else to say? Yes, Here With Me has a great sound, a first rate band and some of the best and cleanest Kiku Collins playing I've heard. The sound on this CD is especially wonderful. --Musi Faisal, President and CEO - Black Owl Music
New York, NY
Willing to teach: