On April 30th Kiki Ebsen, performed a One Night Only performance of her cabaret-style jazz show, MY BUDDY: THE OTHER SIDE OF OZ, at the Fine Arts Theatre Beverly Hills, backed by a four-piece band. The performance was part of The Fine Arts Theatre’s celebration of its 86th anniversary. Kiki Ebsen will be backed by a band consisting of Jeff Colella, Piano; Chris Colangelo, Acoustic Bass; Kendall Kay, Drums and Rob Lockhart, Woodwinds.
Kiki Ebsen will be singing songs from her sixth CD, “Scarecrow Sessions,” which is the musical background for her cabaret-style jazz show, about her late father, Buddy Ebsen, who was the original “Tin Man” in The Wizard of Oz. While filming, The Wizard of Oz, Buddy Ebsen had a terrible reaction to the silver makeup on his face and ended up in the hospital as a result. Since the film was in production, Buddy Ebsen was replaced by Jack Haley. Originally Buddy Ebsen was supposed to play the Scarecrow, but later his part was changed to The Tin Man. Kiki tells the show story in her show.
KIKI EBSEN is a seasoned singer, songwriter, musician, and artist, who has appeared in her own solo shows performing Jazz, Pop, Classical, and Rock music. She has also appeared as a Vocalist and Keyboard Player supporting GRAMMY Award-winning and Platinum-selling artists, Al Jarreau, Tracy Chapman, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, and Christopher Cross.
As a solo artist, Kiki Ebsen has released seven CDs of her compositions plus covers of her favorite songs. Her 6th CD, “Scarecrow Sessions,” stemmed from Kiki’s intention to honor the music of her father’s career in time for Father’s Day 2014, and it is the soundtrack for TO DAD WITH LOVE: A TRIBUTE TO BUDDY EBSEN. The record includes classic jazz standards like “(Somewhere) Over The Rainbow,” “Moon River,” “Easy To Love” and “St. Louis Blues.” Finding her father’s old scripts and songbooks was the impetus for the record, which includes a beautiful souvenir color lyrics booklet.
Kiki Ebsen successfully used the crowd-funding source Kickstarter to assemble premiere musicians for her “Scarecrow Sessions” CD, including the acclaimed David Mann, as well as the late, great jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb, to record the album in New York. The CD then gained notice and accolades in early public performances of the music, where she began telling stories from Buddy’s career. This, in turn, spurred the creation of a cabaret version of the story, with songs and media. Five years later, it is today a full-stage theatre production of music, dance, and multimedia.
Kiki Ebsen also performs a show dedicated to the music of the iconic Joni Mitchell as well as “An Evening with Kiki Ebsen,” which showcases her own songs. Kiki has recorded seven CD albums to date. They include: “Red” (1994), “Love Loud” (2000), “Kiki” (2005), “Cool Songs, Vol. 1” (2010), “The Beauty Inside” (2011), “Scarecrow Sessions” (2014) and “Cool Songs, Vol. 2: The Music of Joni Mitchell” (2017). She is currently working on an eighth CD new original album called, “HER TURN,” which will be released next spring. To learn more please visit https://kikiebsen/discography
As Buddy Ebsen’s youngest daughter, Kiki was in kindergarten when Buddy began portraying Jed Clampett, of TV’s iconic Beverly Hillbillies. When he starred as private eye detective Barnaby Jones (together with Lee Meriwether, veteran Theatre West member, and patron), Kiki was finishing high school.
Kiki Ebsen grew up in community theatre, behind the scenes and on stage, with the Children’s Theater Guild of Orange County and later, the Newport Harbor Actors Theater, both under the direction of her talented mother, Nancy Ebsen. Kiki’s ranch is also a survivor of the recent Woolsey Fire, the destructive wildfire that burned in Los Angeles and Ventura County starting on November 8, 2018.
Kiki Ebsen also has a great passion for horses. She is the owner of the nonprofit 501(c)3 entity, The Healing Equine Ranch in Agoura Hills, CA, which educates, empowers, and enlightens people through natural interaction with horses. The Healing Equine Ranch teaches natural horsemanship principles with an emphasis on human growth and awareness to promote healing with the goal of creating a positive, natural, and nonjudgmental environment where horses and humans can interact and learn from each other. To learn more please visit http://www.thehealingequineranch.com/