Kiki Ebsen - a versatile entertainer, singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist who has built an exciting career as a main stage performer, recording artist and sought after keyboardist. She has performed with some of the greats in the business including Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald and Christopher Cross. She is the daughter of an icon and her one woman show, “To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen” has garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences alike in its Los Angeles premiere. In the wake of a pandemic, Kiki has found a way to connect with audiences with her live stream on Facebook every Wednesday night at 9pm. This month she released the first single “Dead End Places” from her upcoming record “Fill Me Up” that is due in November and available for pre-order now at kikiebsen.com
Kiki Ebsen is a dynamic singer, songwriter, musician and artist whose vast musical range combines elements of jazz, pop, classical and rock. Whether singing standards from the Great American songbook, classic rock covers or her own original compositions, Kiki has a style that is uniquely her own. For over 20 years, Ebsen was heralded as a talented vocalist and gifted keyboard player, supporting Grammy-winning and platinum-selling artists, including Al Jarreau, Tracy Chapman, Michael McDonald, and Boz Scaggs.
Best known today as a popular solo singer and recording artist, Kiki performs regularly in three productions she created: "An Evening with Kiki Ebsen," which combines her original songs and uniquely styled covers and standards with eloquent stories, “To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen” a multimedia jazz/cabaret homage to her father. She also formed the "Joni Mitchell Project," a collection of top Los Angeles players that perform a wide variety of songs penned by the iconic Joni Mitchell.
In the wake of a pandemic, Kiki has found a way to connect with audiences with her live stream on Facebook every Wednesday night at 9pm. This month she released the first single “Dead End Places” from her upcoming record “Fill Me Up” that is due in November and available for pre-order now at kikiebsen.com
As the youngest daughter born into a famous Hollywood family, (her father is Buddy Ebsen best known for his role of Jed Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbilllies”), Kiki began life surveying the world from Balboa Island before the family relocated to a secluded ranch in the quiet beauty of the Santa Monica mountains. Wherever she was, the beauty of arts and music enveloped her in creativity.
At a very early age, Ms. Ebsen embraced the classics, opera, and jazz and sat extremely still for performances of the great works in music. A regular young patron of extraordinary art exhibits, naturally fueled her creative muse. As an adult, she came to realize the connectivity between art and nature, noting how seamlessly one flowed into the other. This observation then explains the range and scope of Kiki’s career to date and how she can move among multiple artistic genres with great ease.
Acting may have been the family business, but music was the canvas where Kiki could paint her own unique portrait. Over a few fast decades, Kiki established a dynamic career as a solo artist, separate from her famous parents. Ms. Ebsen garnered great acclaim and a faithful following as singer/songwriter, musical accompanist, vocal soloist, stage performer, and actress, time permitting.
Ms. Ebsen’s musical career choice was inevitable, after years of working on- and off-stage, paying her dues, embracing each musical genre. Early teenage years were divided between performing in rock bands, participating in national equestrian competitions, learning every nuance of stage productions in her mother’s community theatre, and performing on the road with her father’s creation, “An Evening That’s Entertainment,” her first taste of the road on the unglamorous tour bus.
Enrolling at California Institute of the Arts, Kiki concentrated primarily on classical voice and piano, but remained steadfast in her love of pop/rock music. In school, Kiki’s first opera role was as Barbarina in “The Marriage of Figaro,” backed by the California Institute of Arts Orchestra.
After Kiki received her BFA in Vocal Performance from The California Institute of the Arts; she entered and subsequently won the American Collegiate Talent Showcase. She then embarked on a singing and playing career, touring the United States and internationally, supporting platinum-selling artists including Chicago, Tracy Chapman, Al Jarreau, James Ingram, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald and Christopher Cross. Her spare time was spent writing and recording six of her own records. Ms. Ebsen was then invited to perform as the opening act for select artists, who graciously endorsed her music while on their own touring dates.
In the fall of 2015, Ms. Ebsen was featured with Central Texas Medical Orchestra in Austin, TX and more recently co-headlined “Music Under the Stars” (2017) with the Pasadena POPS under the direction of world famous conductor Larry Blank. With Christopher Cross, Kiki performed with the Nashville Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and the Honolulu Symphony. With Colin Hay (Men at Work) she performed with The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as well as an international appearance with David Benoit and Michael Paulo with the Magenta Symphony Orchestra at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. Other recent notable headlining appearances include the Jazz Nights, Laguna Festival of Arts, the Divine Jazz Cruise and the Monarchs of Jazz Festival with David Benoit, Deniece Williams.
Ms. Ebsen work has regularly included television appearances, i.e., The Grammy Awards (Tracy Chapman) and backing Grammy-winners including Al Jarreau, James Ingram, Peter Cetera, Patti Austin, and Tevin Campbell on “The Tonight Show” starring Jay Leno, “The Late Show” with David Letterman, and “The Arsenio Hall Show.” She spent a season on the Emmy-winning daytime, “The Wayne Brady Show” as part of his featured house band.
Kiki served as Vocal Arranger/Co-Music Director from 2001–2005 for Lifetime TV’s “Women Rock” music specials, starring Pat Benatar, Chaka Khan, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, and Ann Wilson. Her original compositions have been recorded by Boney James, Eric Marienthal, Jessy J, and Deniece Williams for their albums and her voice is heard on six songs on Peter White’s latest CD, “Groovin,’” released in October 2016. Currently she is in the studio working on her eighth solo CD.
Ebsen’s first foray into films was “hopeful band member” in “Back to the Future” (1985) and reprised the uncredited role of “piano player” on “Glee” (Fox, 2014), “Speechless” (ABC, 2016) and “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 2017). Numerous credited video performances on DVDs include tours with Grammy winners and platinum-selling recording artists Namie Amuro, Belinda Carlisle, Bill Champlin, Tracy Chapman and Christopher Cross.
What people are saying…
“Kiki Ebsen is extraordinary”
Susan Hartnett Davis ~ Laguna Festival of Arts
Myrna Daniels ~ LA Jazz Scene
“A world-class songwriter- performer…with a polished vocal style and songs of substance.”
Steve Wagner ~ American Songwriter
“Kiki Ebsen is a consummate performer at the keyboard and as a guest vocalist. With a symphony orchestra, singing pop standards, or the catalog of Ella Fitzgerald to Joni Mitchell, a great artist”
Larry Blank ~ Resident Pops Conductor, Pasadena Symphony
“If you’re a Joni Mitchell fan, you will become a Kiki Ebsen fan as she faithfully performs a variety of Joni’s songs in a wonderful show…"
Stephen Bishop ~ Grammy nominated artist
“her honest delivery also coaxed nuances out of the songs that I’d never heard before. She and her band really brought Mitchell’s music to fresh life.”
John K. Adams ~ Tolucan Times
about “To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen”…
"Warm and engaging ...Heartfelt storytelling...Richly intimate...Magic...We all became instant fans."
Linita Masters ~ Hollywood360
"Kiki delivers “an exceptional cabaret experience…tender, plaintive and adoring, captivating the audience with…her honest connection to the lyrics…It’s the best show in town!”
Mary Bogue ~ Cabaret Scenes
For the past decade, Kiki has grown her educational programs at her Southern California nonprofit, The Healing Equine Ranch. There, classes are offered in natural horsemanship principles, with an emphasis on human growth and awareness to promote healing.
When asked to describe her philosophy on life, creativity, and joy, Ms. Ebsen says, citing a favorite quote by Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken!” Kiki Ebsen continues to create a vibrant life with her own voice, and remains true to her creative muse today, as she paints, sketches and writes on canvas, as well as on her keyboard. Living proof that you really can “do it all” if you’re willing to put in the work and honor your gifts and talents, Kiki Ebsen truly is, an artist of the heart.
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