"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