Cullen Brink grew up the oldest of five children in the San Francisco Bay area in a very musical family. Her aunt sang with the Metropolitan Opera, and her mother was a concert pianist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her Dad played guitar and banjo and all five kids sang around the piano with both parents while growing up. At age 10, Neil Diamond’s manager Joe Gannon, who lived next door to Cullen’s family wanted to take Cullen to Los Angeles to pursue a singing career, but her parents wouldn’t allow her to go, fearing the effect that the music industry would have on their daughter.
Cullen attended Regis University and Western State College in Colorado majoring in English and Elementary Education. She taught first and second grade for twenty years in Aurora. Through teaching she combined her love of music with her love of children. She had a piano in her classroom and sang with the kids everyday.
During a brief time away from the classroom, Cullen sang in Music Festivals, small theatres and clubs, coffeehouse venues, private parties, etc. She now teaches second grade in Denver at Colorado Academy. With the release of her second CD, she celebrates her first grandchild, Hope. Thus the cd title, Love and Hope and Lullabies. This collection is a unique blend of lullabies and gentle love songs appealing to all ages.
New Artist Proves Herself a Seasoned Professional...
Swallow Hill Music Association
Cullen Brink burst on the scene tonight at Swallow Hill in Denver. Cullen sang a series of well selected songs that ranged from Irish ballads to Simon and Garfunkle's piece, "Bookends."
She was backed by a highly complementary group of musicians playing piano, cello, bass, lead and rhythm guitars, drums, uielliann pipes, and mandolin. The pieces performed ranged from support by piano and cello to full band backup. They provided the lucky audience with a highly varied demonstration of her talent and capability to entertain.
Cullen's voice is captivating. She sings with deep emotion that shows great love for her music. Her voice cannot be easily described because it appears to be multi-faceted. At times, Cullen's voice seemed to be ethereal and floated above the audience while at other times, the power and grace in her voice were quite befitting the fun of an Irish folk song.
Although this was an introductory performance for Cullen, she demonstrated the grit of a polished performer who trusted herself and her compatriots. In the folksy setting of the Swallow Hill Music Hall, she patiently waited while technical glitches were solved - such as her performance at the piano with her son Michael, on guitar. A non-working microphone threatened a glitch in the so-far successful evening but Cullen's easy style, gracious smile, and comfort with the audience downplayed the problem long enough for her voice to erase the memory of the technical difficulty.
The second set began with a blazing syncopated drumming exhibition by Brian McCrae, that initially appeared to be just a warm-up while the other musicians drifted onto the stage. This masterful stroke of genius, however, was completed with vocals that provided a very nice finishing touch to start a strong second set for the night's performance. During the second set, Cullen sang her trademark song, "Listen", from her first CD. This heartfelt rendition was really a synopsis of the evening's performance where Cullen's clear voice and love for her music provided the audience with a memorable experience. One value that was evident throughout the evening was a very uncommon ability to select and perform songs of beauty and meaning with a professional yet extremely comfortable and friendly stage presence.
A performance by Cullen is an experience highly recommended and not to be missed as it offers a refreshing perspective and talent that can simply be enjoyed.
John "Buzz" Kyle