Antoine L Collins, lawyer turned entertainer, was born and raised outside of Chicago in Gary, Indiana. Although raised in the foster care system, he managed to escape the merry-go-round of foster homes that some children endure. One of the lucky ones, he thrived in a loving family environment, surrounded by music, theater, and the arts.
Antoine’s debut album “Somewhere Along The Way” has won acclaim in the jazz world, delivering soulful, R&B-inspired takes on traditional standards such as I Put A Spell On You, Orange Colored Sky and Summertime. In addition to Jazz, he has an impressive theater resume which includes: Ragtime, A Chorus Line, RENT, Little Shop of Horrors and Hairspray.
This fall Antoine will be releasing his second full length studio album “Nature Boy: The Music of Nat King Cole”. This project will deliver inspired reinventions of some of Cole’s top-charting hits. “The project is more than a tribute album it’s a celebration of an outstanding musician who left an everlasting mark on the world of jazz. Nat King Cole songs often awaken powerful emotions of passion, pleasure, and sometimes melancholy, the songs on this record address universal, as well as deeply personal, struggles, hopes, loves, regrets and fears”.
For Antoine, “NATURE BOY is my effort as an artist to share again with the world these intimate insights on life. These songs are imbued with such emotion and spiritual feeling that the stories they tell will resonate deeply among a new generation as well as veteran jazz and Nat King Cole lovers.”
Whether recording in the studio, performing musical theatre or live jazz concerts, Antoine’s exudes positive energy through his personality, style, warmth and romantic baritone vocals.
A modern-day crooner with a baritone register Antoine draws inspiration from many jazz, blues and soul greats: Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Chet Baker, Joe Cocker, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Mel Tormé, Van Morrison, Michael Bublé, Harry Connick Jr., Steve Tyrell – the list goes on and on.
Many people don’t realize that the Jazz music genre originated in the African-American communities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The genre ranges from ragtime to present day jazz stylings with its heavy use of improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, swing note, blue notes, brass, European harmony and American popular music, and continues to develop a sound and feel all of its own.
Antoine’s distinctive vocal style is perfectly complemented by a very talented group of musicians: double bassist Guy Levi, Saxophone player Kobi Salomon, drummer Roi Oliel and jazz pianist Asaf Finkelstein. The group’s tremendous creativity, interaction and collaboration really brings to life Antoine’s debut album “Somewhere Along The Way.”
Antoine is very passionate about his sophomore project Nature Boy – The Music of Nat “King” Cole. “Because NKC was such a masterful storyteller, the songs featured in this project address universal themes, as well as deeply personal, struggles, hopes, loves, regrets, and fears. I tend to take the listener on an emotional and spiritual journey through the experiences of life. These songs are imbued with such emotion and spiritual feeling that the stories they tell will resonate deeply today among a new generation as well as veteran jazz and NKC lovers.” He hopes to share, through NKC’s music, the awe he experiences whenever he listens to songs such as My Funny Valentine or Nature Boy. For Antoine, expressing these stories musically is what being a jazz singer is all about and in retelling them in his own voice he strives to bring them to life for a new generation!
NATURE BOY is a tribute album to the late Nat King Cole. Whenever one hears a Nat King Cole song it awakens powerful emotions of passion, pleasure, and sometimes melancholy. Almost every Canadian jazz artist – indeed almost every jazz artist in the world – has been influenced or touched by Mr. Cole’s smooth vocal and piano stylings.
The songs chosen for this record address universal, as well as deeply personal, struggles, hopes, loves, regrets and fears. NATURE BOY is my effort as an artist to share again with the world these intimate insights on life.