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MUSIC - Kiku Collins -Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Valve Trombone, Vocals, Actor, Songwriter

ABOUT KIKU -  RED LIGHT -  Q&A -  HERE WITH ME -  JAZZICOLOGY-101


Kiku Collins has established herself at the heights of pop, jazz and R&B. This former “Jersey Girl” followed music on a journey out of her small town and onto the biggest stages in the world. According to Jazz Journal International, “Ms. Collins plays trumpet and flugelhorn like a twenty-first century Miles Davis.”

Collins’ newest recording, “Red Light” showcases her unique abilities as composer, performer and producer and includes notable guest performances by Michael Lington and Al Chez. This project proves again that she can flex her musical muscles with the big boys. Kiku has traveled the globe as trumpeter with R&B icon Beyonce and pop crooner Michael Bolton, in addition to performances at international jazz festivals with her own group.

As a producer, Collins honed her skills in the recording studios of the New York advertising scene. There she produced music for a plethora of radio and television commercials and a varied list of clients, which include Sony, ABC, Phillips and HBO.

Kiku continues to keep a busy schedule as a performer and clinician for Getzen Musical Instruments and spends much of her time creating new music in her recording studio. Legendary trumpeter Mike Vax said of Ms. Collins, “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!”

ABOUT KIKU:

"Freelance Trumpet Player Kiku Collins of New York City grew up in New Jersey and began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade in the footsteps of her older brother. "Kiku" means Chrysanthemum in Japanese. Kiku and her brother began taking private trumpet lessons in grade school and Kiku's playing ability quickly developed as did encouragement from her high school music teachers. Kiku attended the Interlochen Arts Academy while in high school and studied trumpet with John Lindenau."
~ Trumpet Player Profiles

"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"
~ All About Jazz

KIKU COLLINS -RED LIGHT (2011)

"The former Beyonce trumpet player who’s worked with the likes of Michael Bolton and Jill Scott has a style as sexy and smooth as silk and as authentic as her persona.

Using great phrasing and arrangements, the music presented here–the vast majority of which was co-written by Collins–is a combination of sweet, sexy, and “come hither” sensuality (listen to “Tag Play” for a good example) and funky, enflamed groove (e.g., “Come My Way” – check out bassist Malcolm Gold’s work while you’re here)." ~ Ronald Jack - thesmoothjazzride.com

Out-take of "Red Light" at The Metropolitan Room - CD Release

QandA:

"Red Light Q&A"
According to the Jazz Journal International, Kiku Collins "plays the trumpet like a twenty-first century Miles Davis". Ms. Collins flexes her composer/producer/bandleader muscles with plenty of melody and groove on "Red Light"
 
DCB How long was the CD in development?
KC 2 tunes were composed right after the first album came out, but the rest from start to finish took under a year.
DCB Did you write all the tracks?
KC There is one cover, "How Lucky You Are". All others are originals
DCB What was the greatest obstacle, if one existed?
KC Time and Money! I have a great cast of people from writers to musicians, studio personnel etc. Thank goodness!
DCB Where was it recorded?
KC Most was recorded at Hoboken Recorders in NJ by Alan Camlet. The rest was done at TNT's House of Sound - our recording studio, mostly engineered by my daughter and myself. :)
DCB What track was the most fun to do?
KC They were all fun, it's hard to say. Every track has a unique vibe and groove and mood, and my wonderful band explored every facet of potential in each tune. For me, though, I enjoyed recording "How Lucky You Are" (a favorite track of mine is Joni James singing this beautiful tune and I tried to tap into her old school energy on the flugel as well as background vocals) and "Blue Patrol", layering all of the horns (I love playing valve trombone!!!)- having some spectacular guests join in, and making up harmonies and underlying lines on the fly for texture!

"Red Light" Musicians
Kiku Collins - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Valve Trombone, Vocals Alex Alexander - Drums, Percussion
Xavier Davis - Piano Elizabeth! - Trombone
Hendrik Helmer  - Guitar TubaJoe Exley - Tuba
Layla Angulo - Sax Greg Clark - Vocals
Malcolm Gold - Bass Tani Trentlyon - Vocals
Michael Lington - Sax Francesco Guaiana - Guitar
Al Chez - Trumpet Luca Lo Bianco - Bass
David Gibson - Trombone Massimo D'aleo - Drums

KIKU COLLINS - "Here With Me" (2007)

When fate came calling a while back, New Yorker Kiku Collins hung up her classical C trumpet in favor of the simple and sultry flugelhorn. It was a good decision: her haunting tone has since been heard on commercials and just behind major pop stars the world over.

Her mentor, Mel Broiles, principal trumpet for the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, always said to her, "Miss Collins, you need to find a way to get on the television with that beautiful sound of yours". Well, she has, and, if you’ve watched Oprah, The Today Show, MTV's TRL or the American Music Awards recently you’ll have seen her in good company. She’s more than just Beyonce’s horn player, though. She’s now stepping into the spotlight all on her own with her debut album “Here With Me” (innova 668).

While Kiku has been seen around town, as well as around the world, with major pop stars including Beyonce, Dave Wakeling, TM Stevens, Carmine Appice, Robert Gordon, Sami Yaffa, Jonathan Richmond, and Pat Travers to drop a few names, 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.

You can come to your own conclusions about what was going through her head or life while writing and recording this album. It's this kind of thinking that will get you everywhere... You can start with a few facts: Kiku is a Jersey girl who wound up in the City, her name means Chrysanthemum in Japanese (where some of her DNA originates), she plays a brass instrument in a man’s world, and is a personal trainer and mother. Caffeine makes all this possible (though you’d be hard-pressed to hear much of that in this laid-back music).

"Here With Me" features fabulous NYC musicians
Julian Harris Co-Producer, Guitars, Electric Bass
Tony GraciDrums
Nick CudahyAcoustic Bass
Jorge Bringas Acoustic-Electric Bass
Steve Shapiro Vibraphone
Alex Alexander Percussion
Manuel Carro Percussion
Andy EzrinPiano
Trevor ExterCello
Greg HirteViolin
Jay RodriguezFlute
her daughter Taniwho makes a very special guest appearance.

JAZZICOLOGY101 (September 7, 2011)

Listen to internet radio with Larry Ellis Jr jazz playa on Blog Talk Radio "I did an internet radio interview on Jazzicology101 - it was meant to be about 15 minutes but turned into the entire hour. I had a good time yapping about music, the state of jazz, family life..." Kiku