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.
While studying at Indiana University Bloomington, Antoine began to explore and develop his artistic abilities. Subsequently, he went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and spent several years working for the Baltimore City States Attorney’s office where he prosecuted child abuse and domestic violence cases. Later, he joined the Law firm of Semmes Bowen & Semmes, before starting his own firm of Collins & Harris, and being called to the Ontario Bar.
As his passion for the arts grew, Antoine put his legal career on hold, debuting in the Orpheus production of RENT in 2011 as a member of the ensemble and understudy for the role of Tom Collins. After moving to Tel Aviv, he burst into Israel’s English Language Theater as Seaweed J. Stubbs in Hairspray, followed by Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, and as Richie Walters in A Chorus Line.
In the spring of 2015, Antoine appeared as Benjamin Coffin III in a concert version of RENT at the renowned Habima 4 stage in Tel Aviv, before reprising the role of Benny in Starcatcher’s production of RENT in Jerusalem. From time-to-time he also performed in the popular Tel Aviv-based cabaret act Showstoppers.
Currently, Antoine is living in Ottawa, Ontario where he is busy preparing to kick off a series of live concerts and jazz festival appearances in promotion of his debut jazz album Somewhere Along the Way, reprising the role of Richie Walters in the Orpheus production of A Chorus Line (which opens March 4, 2016 at the Centrepointe Theatre) and starting work on his second full-length jazz album featuring a collection of original and jazz standards.
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.” This compilation of his favorite jazz standards is sure to be a hit