“A world-class songwriter- performer…with a polished vocal style and songs of substance.”
Steve Wagner ~ American Songwriter

Kiki Ebsen is a versatile performing artist who has built an exciting career as a main stage performer, recording artist and sought after keyboardist. She sings, plays, acts, writes, dances and produces shows and recordings that showcase her unique storytelling talents. As a keyboardist and singer, Kiki has performed with some of the greats in the business including Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Al Jarreau and Christopher Cross. Kiki is an engaging singer and songwriter with several original records to her name. She also created her Joni Mitchell Project to pay respect to one of her favorite singer/songwriters and performs it regularly. She has recorded nine records and her latest “Fill Me Up”, a collection of original songs, is available now at her music store with proceeds to benefit The Healing Equine Ranch 501(c)3. Kiki is the daughter of the iconic actor Buddy Ebsen and she has created and performed several tributes in his honor. Her newest one woman show, “My Buddy, The Other Side of oz” debuting this year, is filled with heart warming stories and memories of Hollywood's Golden Age.  


“A world-class songwriter- performer…with a polished vocal style and songs of substance.”
Steve Wagner ~ American Songwriter

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, “My Buddy, The Other Side of Oz” a cabaret-style jazz concert that pays homage to her iconic 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 singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. 

Kiki is an engaging songwriter as well with several recordings to her name including the critically acclaimed CDs “Red”, “Love Loud” and “The Beauty Inside." Her most recent record “Fill Me Up” is available now at her music store with proceeds to benefit The Healing Equine Ranch 501(c)3

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 Hillbillies”),  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, vocalist, 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 eight 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, Gloira Estefan, Ann Wilson and more. 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 movie soundtracks and several other artists recordings .

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

"Purely Terrific!"
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

"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.


About Kiki Ebsen

Kiki Ebsen is a dynamic singer, songwriter, musician and artist who combines elements of jazz, pop, classical and rock with beloved Great American songbook standards, classic rock covers and her own uniquely original compositions. For over 20 years, Ebsen was heralded as a talented vocalist and gifted keyboard player, supporting Grammy-winning and platinum-selling artists, including Christopher Cross, Al Jarreau, Tracy Chapman, Michael McDonald, and Boz Scaggs.

Best known today as a popular solo singer and ensemble vocalist, Kiki performs regularly in three productions she created: “My Buddy, The Other Side of Oz” a multimedia jazz/cabaret homage to her father, "An Evening with Kiki Ebsen," which combines her original songs and uniquely styled covers and standards with eloquent stories. She also has a show dedicated to the music of Joni Mitchell where she performs a wide variety of songs from Joni's exceptional discography. 

Early Immersion in Music, Dance and Theatre —Acting and The Family Tradition

Songs such as “Missing You,” “Comes Love” and “St. Louis Blues” performed in concert today reflect a mutual appreciation that grew between Kiki and Buddy. Kiki loves singing the songs her father always insisted were perfectly suited for her.

Kiki’s mother, Nancy, was a Vassar-educated actress who toured as a singer with highly respected chorales. Sharing her love of theatre with her children, Nancy directed children’s theatre for many years. Nancy’s multifaceted talents as a classically trained singer and concert pianist also included writing, producing and directing plays. She offered her children opportunities to work in front of, and behind, the scenes but they had to earn their parts through strongly competitive audition. Like her mother, Kiki loves performing and has been on stage all her life. 

In 1980 Nancy founded and led the Newport Harbor Actors Theatre in Orange County. Kiki’s acting skills have served her well, not to mention her stints as a student at the Ebsen School of Dance founded by her Aunt Vilma, Buddy Ebsen’s sister and original dance partner. “Growing up Ebsen” offered exposure to international travel, art, music, great books, the theatre and all creative expression.

Early Education and Training

Kiki’s academic career included immersion in art studies, logic, and creativity at the prestigious, arts-focused Oakwood School in Southern California. In addition to school productions, several of which Nancy directed, more stage opportunities arrived during summer and holiday tours as part of the “Ebsen Family Band,” an ensemble led by her father, Buddy, which included three sisters and her younger brother. They performed a vaudeville show on California college campuses and in adult retirement communities, especially on holidays when many seniors would be alone. 

While enrolled at Agoura High School, Kiki found plenty of time to successfully balance academics while playing in garage bands across popular Hollywood teen spots, further establishing her love of music performance. Soon after graduation, Kiki established her first professional band, Chadwick. Both Buddy and Nancy proudly affirmed their youngest daughter’s new showcase; Buddy mentioned it in several national interviews as he also noted son Dustin’s drumming talents.   

Ultimately, when Kiki began her studies at California Institute of the Arts, her other vocal gifts and performing talents were immediately recognized. During an audition for a chorale, Kiki’s full vocal range was revealed, and professors immediately encouraged her to sing opera and prepare for a career in classical vocal performance and concert piano. Kiki pursued both with passion and skill, earning her B.F.A. in Vocal Performance.

In 1984 Kiki was named Collegiate Entertainer of the Year, in a nationwide competition, immediately after graduating from CalArts. It was a contest similar to the one that Richard and Karen Carpenter won, where they first came to national attention. Kiki’s first prize also included a substantial matching gift to the Herb Alpert School of Music at Cal Arts, as it is known today. 

Recordings and Artist Development

Ebsen's 1994 inaugural jazz CD, “Red,” was produced by respected smooth jazz producer Paul Brown. The release featured performances from Boney James, Buzz Feiten and Paul Jackson, Jr. on Kiki’s songs. Two songs from this debut album, “My Desire” and “Half a Chance,” were on the NAC Top 25, and “Kiss Me Again” was in the JRAC Top 50 of radio airplay. 




Radio Singles   
“My Desire” (NAC Top 25)
“Half A Chance “ (NAC Top 25)
"Diamond in the Dust"  (NAC Top 25)
"Kiss Me Again"   (JASRAC Top 50)
“Say A Little Prayer”   (Fusion Flavors Best of 2005)
“If I Only Had A Brain”   (Smooth Jazz Top 50)


Album         Year
“Red” (Debut)         1994
“Love Loud”         2000
“Kiki”         2002
“Cool Songs, vol. 1”         2005
“The Beauty Inside”         2011
"Scarecrow Sessions"         2014
"Cool Songs, vol 2: The Music of Joni Mitchell" 2017


In 2005 Kiki released “Cool Songs Vol. 1,” featuring her preferred arrangements covering classic pop tunes, such as "Time After Time," "It's Too Late," and "Diary." Kiki's music also appears on several international compilations.
Her sophomore effort, “Love Loud,” made it into Muse's "Muse Top 10" of 2002, filled with powerful, poignant songs of self-reflection. She later reunited with Paul Brown to record “Kiki,” which made Steve Quirk's “Fusion Flavors Best of 2005” list.  

Her signature 2011 release, “The Beauty Inside,” produced by Mark Browne, fully revealed Ebsen’s powerful vocals and ability to communicate boundless joy and eternal heartache in words and music. This CD launched her solo tours as she was invited to numerous venues to basically perform the album.  

Kiki is also a television vet, appearing with The Al Jarreau Band on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “The Arsenio Hall Show” before embarking on a world tour. The band featured future stars including N'Dea Davenport (Brand New Heavies), Rickey Minor (“American Idol,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”), and Felicia Collins (“Late Show with David Letterman”). Additional TV credits include performances with Take Six, Blake Shelton, Glen Campbell, Michelle Branch, Robert Goulet, Dolly Parton, Lee Ann Womack, Gloria Estefan, Kenny Loggins, Melissa Etheridge, and Patty Griffin.

Her compositions have been recorded by respected jazz musicians Eric Marienthal, Boney James and Jessy J. Kiki has contributed vocals for on Eric Marienthal's album “One Touch” (GRP Records, 1993) in the song, "That's the Way," a song co-written by Dave Koz, Ebsen, and Randy Hall. Ebsen's composition, "Blue," is included on Boney James' “Backbone” album (Warner Brothers, 1994), featuring James on tenor saxophone and Ebsen on keyboards. Saxophonist Jessy J. included Ebsen's composition, "Turquoise Street" on her album Tequila Moon (Peak/Concord, 2008). Kiki’s complete discography is here.

Creating “Scarecrow Sessions” and “To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen”

In 2012, going through an overlooked box of her mother’s keepsakes, Kiki discovered a collection of old scripts, playbills and photos that gave her insight into her father’s career before she’d been born. Ebsen was so moved by what she found that she was inspired to record a CD as a tribute to her father. Working with respected arranger David Mann, the duo produced Kiki’s CD, “Scarecrow Sessions” (Painted Pony Media, 2014) comprised of the music of Buddy Ebsen’s film and stage career. The album features John Patitucci (bass) and the late Chuck Loeb (guitar), Henry Hey (piano), Clint De Ganon (drums), with Mann contributing his signature style on saxophone.


A new show “My Buddy, The Other Side of Show”

In 2023 Kiki was invited to bring her tribute show back to the stage. She and her co-producer, Steve Wallace (who called there production company StKi Media). Brought the show back as a jazz/cabaret concert with new footage, photos, stories and music. They performed at Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills, The Monroe Forum @ The El Portal and The Cambria Center for the Arts. It is slated to return to the Monroe on Father's Day 2024.

Ebsen oversees her nonprofit, The Healing Equine Ranch, founded to inspire human growth and awareness to promote healing. Kiki teaches natural horsemanship and has created multiple educational programs for students of all ages.


                                                  Photo by Sylvie Belmond                                            


Notable recent performances include the Eclectic Festival, Laguna Festival of the Arts, The Long Beach Aquarium, The Maui Music Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Waikaloa Music and Wine Festival, Tin Pan South, Pacific Rim Jazz Festival, KSBR Birthday Bash, The KIFM Anniversary Party, The California Saga, and the Temecula Music and Wine Festival.  In 2017 she was featured with the Pasadena Pops under the direction of Larry Blank, who says of her:  “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. ”

Community and Nonprofit Activities

Ebsen’s schedule frequently includes lending her time and talents to charitable fundraisers for causes close to her heart. Recent concert events have benefited Project Angel Food, MusiCares, Autism Speaks, WeSpark Cancer Support Network, Laguna Niguel Community Theatre, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Treepeople, The Beauty Bus, Project Play, The Alzheimer's Association, The Rescue Train, Paw Works and Easter Seals.. 



Kiki continues to host regular live/broadcast concert events from her Healing Equine Ranch, proceeds furthering natural equine interactive growth and healing. Her love of creating music remains ever strong.  

Follow Kiki on Facebook, Twitter (@kikiebsen), and nonprofit, The Healing Equine Ranch.

-StKi Media 

Mar 2024