014 Kiku Collins
"The audience doesn't care, they just want to see a gig!"
Kiku Collins has established herself at the heights of pop, jazz and R&B. She has performed with everybody: Beyonce, Michael Bolton, Jill Scott, Train, Gloria Gaynor, Carole King, Sza, Sam Moore, Esperanza Spalding, Queen Latifah, Trombone Shorty, Smokey Robinson, Keb Mo, Lea Delaria, Paul Shaffer, The Manhattan Transfer, Buddy Guy, Faith Evans, Ciara, Ben E. King, Janelle Monae, Patti LaBelle, Sheila E., Lalah Hathaway... even Joe Piscopo! You might have seen her on the Today Show, Oprah Winfrey, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, at the White House for President Obama (twice), the Grammys and at several international jazz festivals. But it's not all glitz and glamor: Collins is also a cancer and lymphedema patient, and is actively involved with #Cancerland and other advocacy organizations.
She was kind to let us into her living room where we met her cat, Nobu, and heard about her upbringing, early training, great gigs as well as great hardships in the life of a high-level professional on the world stage.
The music in this episode is available directly from her website, www.kikucollins.com and on most streaming platforms. Enjoy our hang with Kiku!