"Kiku Collins is exactly the type of guest artist the modern trumpet studio needs to bring to their students. With an open, giving heart, Kiku shares her vast knowledge of the "scene" in an authentic voice. Trained classically, having performed the world over, Kiku lets students know that the journey isn't easy, but anything is possible with hard work, a positive mind set, and an openness to change. Thanks Kiku, for being you, and sharing your music with us. " - Dr. Mary Thornton, Texas A&M University

"We invited Kiku to be a headliner for our university Jazz Festival as well as a featured guest educator. We will never forget her fabulous performance of “Tag Play’ with the other headliners. Awesome composing and trumpet playing! She also provided our students, grades 5-college, with ‘real-world’ experiences and advice on being a musician in the 21st Century as well as a terrific session on addressing the fundamentals of technique and practicing ideas for trumpet players. And, in her Kiku way, she did it all with passion and humor in sync with her audience." - Drs. Karen Gustafson and James Bicigo, co-directors University of Alaska Fairbanks Jazz Festival

"Kiku visited our university and actually went on a 3-day tour with our jazz band.  She was a complete and total gem to host.  She was extremely gracious, fun, engaging, and spent a TON of time with our students.  They were so inspired that I'm sure for most of them it will be the memory of a lifetime.  Do yourself a favor, and host Kiku as a guest artist.  She is amazing!" - Del Lyren, Bemidji University 

"Kiku held a virtual masterclass with my trumpet studio. She did a wonderful job talking about the realities of a touring musician as well as the importance of just being a great human being. We really enjoyer her sharing her knowledge with us!” Jon Kratzer Trumpet Professor and Director of Jazz Studies, Blinn College

An interesting blend of jazz/blues polish and sass is what we have here from trumpeter/vocalist Kiku Collins on her latest project, Red Light. 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). Take a walk on the blues side as the sexy lady treats us to the title track with all the sultriness expected in a song bearing that title, and check out the adeptness of pianist Xavier Davis and the magnificent guest sax work of Michael Lington. This material has body, melody, and presence. When you listen to the tenderness of Collins’ caressing trumpet and Hendrix Helmer’s guitar on the well-composed piece “Silence Thief,” you are reminded of the beautiful vastness and creativity of the world of really good jazz. The alluring track that follows, “Sea of Grapes,” with guitarist Francesco Guaiana giving Collins a helping hand, further gives evidence of that. “In the Bag” kicks it all up a notch or two in tempo and sets that other groove mode in motion. Nothing says “Let’s shake it out” like a number like this. Closing this delicacy out is “August Won,” a beautiful– though disappointingly short– track with Collins on vocals. All said, Collins arrives here with a comely project full of color and diversity. Red Light has something on which to grab hold. It doesn’t murmur; it proudly sings.” - Ronald Jackson

The Smooth Jazz Ride

I really do think you are one of the best out there on the current trumpet community. Your section playing, tone, control, and solo chops, outstanding!! (Mind you, it's not the old "female brass player" thing...)”

Eric Miyashiro

There is a contemporary sound to this music, a mixture of modern jazz trumpet, fusion and rock that all blends together surprisingly well. Ms. Collins plays trumpet and flugelhorn like a twenty-first century Miles Davis; there is a Spanish tinge to many of these improvised solos and also a touch of melancholy, similar to that which was always present in Miles's music. Flute and vibes solos are pretty much straightahead jazz contributions and the rock flavoured bass and drum punctuations are somehow quite appropriate and suitable for this music. The Messenger is essentially a slow ballad with Ms. Collins blowing moody, atmospheric trumpet and Harris shining with a mournful guitar solo. Confidential Obituary continues the dark, sad mood and offers more, intense trumpet playing... ... the result is really good music; in the contemporary manner, in terms of instrumentation and recording practices but sounding fresh and inspired all through. I would urge all enthusiasts to put aside pre-conceived notions of any kind and just listen. It is well worth the effort.” - Derek Ansell

— Jazz Journal International

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.) Mike Vax” - Mike Vax
Kiku, you're not only beautiful - you're a kick ass player!” - La La Brooks

La La Brooks of the Crystals

Quick story, Saturday night, I stop by a friends house. It's late and we're eating after a night of Pre-New Years Eve celebrating(because I had to work New Years Eve :-( . There's a house full of people. My buddy turns on the TV and this "Beyonce" special is on, the Tokyo concert... I'm riveted on this trumpet player. I'm asking anyone that will listen, who's she??? She's amazingly attractive and a pretty good horn player. The credits rolled so fast, I couldn't read em :-( Tuesday night, the show aired again, so I DVR'd it. After it goes off, I roll the credits slow and there's the name. I checked out your page, good music. I'd like to hear more. Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you. Hopefully my note won't get lost in the hundreds of other e-mails and correspondents I'm sure you receive.” - Christopher
My favorite trumpet players are: Maynard Ferguson & Kiku Collins.”

— Alex, age 12 1/2