Kudisan Kai, the artist formerly known as
Natalie Jackson, has made an incredible journey
from opera to alternative metal.
Kudisan graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a degree in Voice. She received additional training at the Tanglewood Summer Music Program then entered graduate school at The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and New York University in New York City.
This classically trained singer got her commercial music start in jazz on recordings with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble. As a result of this exposure, she received Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Jazz Vocalist” Award. She later toured with Anita Baker and
Natalie Cole. Then, she did an about face and toured for six years with Elton John.
Kudisan also worked extensively with Chaka Khan. Kudisan has also appeared with Beck at the Cochella Festival and on MTV’s “Total Request Live”; as well as with Sting on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno.
The range of artists with whom Kudisan has recorded reflects the depth of her experience, and includes Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Saliva, Mary J. Blige, and Salif Keita. The list of producers include, George Duke, Arif Mardin, Don Was, Patrick Leonard, and Glen Ballard.
This versatile artist can be heard in a host of television and radio commercials, as well as movies. She performed on the soundtrack of Dreamworks El Dorado, Disney’s Dinosaurs, Ali, Eddie Murphy’s film Pluto Nash, and John Singleton’s Dark Blue, working with top-rated music producers such as James Newton Howard, John Powell and others.
Kudisan was featured with her own alternative-metal band in CBGB’s, Cat Club and
the Bitter End, three of the hottest New York Clubs. On the west coast, she graced the
stage of L.A’s Viper Room, where she showcased her songwriting talent as well.
Recently, Kudisan produced and performed in a 3-day Artist-In-Residency at Berklee College of Music entitled, “Women In Rock”, which included recording artists Nona Hendryx, Joyce Kennedy, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Siedah Garrett, Cindy Blackman, and Felicia Collins.”Singing with these women proved to be one of the most magical experiences of my life.”
Currently, Kudisan is an Associate at Berklee College of Music and is working on a new cd entitled “Transcend” which will be released some time this summer.