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Kiku Collins | Here With Me

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Album Links
kikucollins.com Kiku on Myspace Vinilemania Kiku on iTunes Innova Records

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United States - NY - New York City

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Here With Me

by Kiku Collins

Smooth Jazz album from this NYC female trumpet/flugelhorn/trombone player known for her work with Beyonce, Michael Bolton and a host of other iconic artists.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Here With Me
3:14 album only
2. Mr. Barista
3:17 album only
3. The Messenger
4:44 album only
4. Confidential Obituary
3:52 album only
5. Cartoons of the Prophet
4:25 album only
6. Levitation
4:35 album only
7. Acid Cowboy
3:31 album only
8. You Too
5:29 album only
9. Blues Again
3:50 album only
10. Sakura
1:39 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Here With Me" features fabulous NYC musicians Julian Harris (Co-Producer, Guitars, Electric Bass), Tony Graci (Drums), Nick Cudahy (Acoustic Bass), Jorge Bringas (Acoustic-Electric Bass), Steve Shapiro (Vibraphone), Alex Alexander (Percussion), Manuel Carro (Percussion), Andy Ezrin (Piano), Trevor Exter (Cello), Greg Hirte (Violin), Jay Rodriguez (Flute), as well as her daughter Tani, who makes a very special guest appearance.

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).

“Her phrasing, sound and lyricism remind me of great singers. I really enjoy listening to her CD and would highly recommend it to others"
Mike Vax, Big Band Leader, Trumpeter, Educator http://www.mikevax.net

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 including Michael Bolton, Beyonce, Dave Wakeling, Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, 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.

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 like 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 and educational publications



to write a review


Wonderful Debut!
I became aware of Kiku Collins when I attended a Michael Bolton concert recently. During the Sinatra section of his concert I became extremely aware of the brass section. It was all girls and Kiku was there in the middle! She definitely made you feel you were "Here With Me". Her debut album makes you feel the same way. Just carries you no matter which instrument she is playing. The sound is definitely smooth jazz but with a touch of the classic. Whether you catch her live or pick up a copy of her CD.. you can't lose!

Chris McDaniel

Flugelhorn Goddess!
I have been waiting for this CD for a long time... here on this CD Kiku is in control, co-writing the tunes and playing her sexy Flugelhorn. No notes in the stratosphere here (a refreshing change from artists who seem to equate range with talent), this is tuneful tasty stuff! And it's even more rich because of the muted trumpet and valve trombone harmonies she adds to the mix. This is the perfect CD for a sunset, a relaxing evening, a mountain drive, anytime you need to de-stress. My favorites are Confidential Obituary, Blues Again, and Here with Me but it's all great stuff.

Mr. Sponge

“Here with me” is the perfect title for Kiku Collins’ debut record. She’s inviting you, the listener, to join her. With the title track she puts you at ease and lets you know you’re important but you must participate. She almost ends the song with a question or maybe a challenge. You will NOT be sorry if you continue on with her. “Mr. Barista”, hits you exactly where it should and lets you know why God created hips! I know it’s been referred to as “smooth jazz” but there’s a definite pop sensibility in the best way. She wants you to move, lets you catch you breath (Levitation), and lets you feel powerful (Confidential). The array of instruments she performs on gives you colors, sounds & textures unlike other Brass based records. My favorites include those mentioned, as well as, “Blues Again”, “You too”, and “Clowns of the Prophet”. I’m excited to see where she takes us next. I plan to be there with her!

Musi Faisal

One of the hottest jazz releases of 2007
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.


A perfect mellow day. Smart. Sexy. Very well done.

Mike Vax

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.)

Julian Ardella

...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 musicaly --- but to "those who listen with a Center" --- The beauty in all things is apparent.

Mike Perazzetti

Second to None!
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.

Rafael Picorelli

-Kiku's music feels almost beyond form, transparent, with a sense of stillness and exquisiteness. In my opinion, your music manifests the essence of formless, a full expression of one's life, of your life. Your musicality and creativeness goes beyond words-

Andrew McCann

You can find true knowledge by listening to Kiku's CD, "here with me". I personally felt as though I was walking down a pleasant country lane with a soft breeze cleansing my Spirit. The soft breeze was the skillfull air, used to vibrate eternal sounds that entered my soul, or rather became one with the spiritual essence.

Fellow passengers in this life, please do give it a listen.Concentate, meditate, and elevate your Consciousness.
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