Nalley, at her young age, is already a San Francisco institution
Things are looking up for Kim Nalley, the sultry singer on the hill
By Bruce Bellingham

These days it seems that the only times Kim Nalley has the blues is when she sings them on stage. Blues tunes or no, Nalley’s singing is as smooth as warm Brie on sourdough. She can sing anything. I saw her one night mesmerize the house by performing folk tunes on her guitar.

Nalley, at her young age, is already a San Francisco institution. Her life has changed a lot recently, and she’s only too happy to tell you about it. She has sold her club, Jazz at Pearl’s, which she owned with former husband. There’s a tyranny about being a club owner, she says. She’s pleased to be rid of it. She says her life “was a shambles a year ago,” but things are pretty peachy right now.

Nalley has been compared to Billie Holiday in her stage demeanor, but her voice is far more expansive with a range that reaches nearly four octaves. Michael Tilson Thomas heard her singing at the now-vanished Alta Plaza restaurant in Pacific Heights, and hired her to sing Gershwin with the San Francisco Symphony. You don’t hear stories like that too often.

Not only is she a vibrant, remarkably versatile singer, she’s an actress and a writer. Nalley has a degree in history from UC Berkeley, and she recently studied English literature at Oxford. She’s writing a play, “Ella: The American Dream,”that’s slated for its premiere in January 2010. She also blogs regularly for JazzWest.

Kim Nalley - Mesmerizing! Beyond the Chron

She’s as dramatic as La Boheme … She’s Carmen … She’s remarkable … She’s exhilarating and she’s a Cultural touchstone! AND…SHE SANG THE STIRRING “Mississippi Goddamn!” – and when she sings it – she means it.

Singer Kim Nalley Notes Favorite S.F. Spots
Kim Nalley is a critically lauded San Francisco jazz and blues singer who has performed Gershwin with the San Francisco Symphony and produced sensational musical tributes to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. In June, she will start a two-month residency at the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko, taking on the music and life of Nina Simone. The former owner of the North Beach club Jazz at Pearl's, Nalley is a faculty member at the Jazzschool and a history student in UC Berkeley's doctorate program. She's as famous for her immaculate style as her remarkable range. We asked the Nob Hill resident to tell us about some of her favorite Bay Area spots...


Nalley was an absolute joy. Review: Joy to the World
San Francisco's Nalley turned in an absolutely gorgeous performance, but it wasn't just her top-shelf vocals. Nalley has a 3 1/2-octave range and the kind of vocal thrust that could strip the varnish off furniture, but Nalley never tried to dazzle anyone with any audio acrobatics.

Jazz to the World With a Voice as Big as the Sea: Preview Article
Aside from her appearance at the Culture Center, she has several shows booked at one of her favorite haunts, The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. The holiday shows there have become a sort of grownup tradition for Nalley and led to a special Christmas CD, "Christmas Time Is Here," which she says captures part of the experience of those shows.

Kim Nalley Song/Storybook Delights Kuumbwa Audiences
The holiday portion of the program, who would have expected it? Apparently all who attended her performance a year ago at
Kuumbwa, as Santa Baby appeared by request and her sexy Eartha Kitt/Betty Boop take on it was a great hit, as was a hysterical
Hanukkah in Santa Monica.

Channeling The Other Ella
Kim Nalley is one of jazz's great spelunkers, a dedicated explorer who delves into forgotten musical crevices to emerge with long-neglected songs and stories.

Brava Interprete all vocalisti nera

Posted on: Saturday November 20, 2010 PST

Lezioni di Jazz

Posted on: Tuesday July 20, 2010 PST

Kim Nalley Pearl of San Francisco


16 июля (четверг) 2009 года Kim Nalley - вокал, США и Трио Андрея Кондакова

tMotion Jazz in Motion Kim Nalley - вокал, США и Трио Андрея Кондакова

Макс Тимошин и продюсерская компания tMotion представляет
 16 июля 2009 года
Арт-клуб «Дуров»


Kim Nalley - вокал, США
и Трио Андрея Кондакова


в проекте «Jazz In Motion»

Жемчужина джаза, выращенная в перламутровой раковине Сан-Франциско. Звезда собственного уникального стиля «Sweet 'n' Sassy». «Красиво и Дерзко»! - Это однозначно про неё. Вокалистка Ким Нелли. В её характеристике – потрясающе чувство свинга и музыкальность широчайшего диапазона. В её манере – блюзовые глубины Бесси Смит и высочайший мелодизм Эллы Фитцджеральд. Голос Ким Нелли, её дух, её образ – заполняют собой всю сцену и заставляют светиться от восторга зрительный зал!


Известно, что сегодня ни одна экскурсия по Сан-Франциско не обходится без визита на концерт Ким Нелли. Певица – местная достопримечательность! Одна из тех миллионов, кто приезжает в этот город за славой. Одна из тех единиц, кто её добиваются. Вообще-то, Ким запросто могла бы стать оперной дивой – голосовой диапазон в три с половиной октавы это позволяют. Но ещё во время обучения в Центре Искусств города Нью-Хейвен, её душа – пела джаз. Голосу – пришлось подчиниться. Телу – пришлось двигаться к океану. В Сан-Франциско есть, у кого поучиться вокальному мастерству: Нелли не пропускала ни одного джем-сейшена в местных джаз-клубах. Как сказал про неё гениальный саксофонист Фил Вудс: «Эта девочка пошла пусть и старомодной, но правильно дорогой». И однажды – эта дорога привела Ким к заслуженному успеху. Сольное выступление темнокожей красавицыКим Нелли в престижном зале «Alta Plaza» – обсуждала на следующее утро вся музыкальная пресса.


Вердикт был един – звезда родилась! Так открываются кулисы великих концертных площадок. Выступления шли одно за другим!Ким аплодировали Линкольн Центр и Метрополитен Опера! Её ждали джазовые фестивали в Монтрё, Монреале и Нью-Йорке! Она привозила сольные шоу в Токио, Стокгольм и Ванкувер! В начале 2000 года – певица вновь доказала свою уникальность. На взлёте карьеры она переехала в Европу! По словам певицы – ей нужны были новые эмоции. Три года Нелли путешествовала по старинным городам и заповедным курортам. Искала вдохновения в австрийских Альпах и голландских ночных клубах. В начале 2003-го года – её триумфальное возвращение в Сан-Франциско отметил каждый значительный таблоид. Клуб «Jazz at Pearl's», который открыла Ким – почти мгновенно стал иконой джазовой жизни великого мегаполиса. Кто там только ни побывал! Звёзды шоу-бизнеса, легенды спорта, бесконечные туристы и даже несколько важных клерков из Силиконовой Долины. На этой волне успеха, в апреле 2006-го года, Нелли выпустила дебютный сольный альбом «She Put A Spell On Me». 10-ть мелодий, достойных шорт-листа премии ГРЕММИ и первых позиций в чарте «Jazz Top 40»!.


А как она поёт хиты Билли Холидей! Даже в театре, несколько сезонов подряд, Ким исполняли её роль. Но во время сольного шоу Москве, Ким Нелли не ограничится репертуаром легендарной Леди Дэй. В компании трио знаменитого пианиста Андрея Кондакова, она блеснёт всеми гранями своего таланта. Певице будет на что опереться. За её спиной – 30-ть лет профессиональной джазовой карьеры Андрея Кондакова, его богатейший опыт выступлений с величайшими звёздами джаза, его искромётный, утончённый джазовый стиль. И не будет ошибкой, если союз этих потрясающих артистов заключить в уже известные музыкальные рамки:


«Sweet 'n' Sassy». «Красиво и Дерзко»! - Это однозначно про них.

Концерт Ким Нелли и Трио Андрей Кондакова состоится в рамках проекта «Jazz In Motion» - серии еженедельных концертов лучших российских и зарубежных джазовых музыкантов на одной из самых уютных и стильных площадок столицы. Признанные корифеи и восходящие звезды, последователи старой школы и экспериментаторы, открывающие новые современные направления - «Jazz In Motion» дарит публике великолепный джаз во всех его проявлениях!



Начало концертов в 20.00

Адрес арт-клуба «Дуров»: м. Добрынинская, ул. Павловская, 6

 Карта проезда

По вопросам приобретения билетов и заказа столиков просьба обращаться по телефонам: +7 (495) 958-5950, +7 (495) 952-2064, +7 (495) 961-8121

Дополнительная информация и аккредитация по телефону 665-0070


Posted on: Sunday June 20, 2010 PST

Standing Ovation Greets Kim Nalley Cafe Americain at the Boiler Room

Nothing quite prepared me for what I experienced last night at Sun Valley Resort's Boiler Room, jaw-droppingly talented Kim Nalley -- she ABSOLUTELY OWNS that stage, body and soul the second she gets on it!!! --

With a flowing tone, an articulate delivery and a formidable understanding of musical principles and history, Nalley is comfortable in many a vocal setting.
WITH HER symmetrical hairstyle and dark wool coat, vocalist Kim Nalley looks like a big-band singer from a previous era. Bundled up and sipping a glass of wine on the patio of a North Beach restaurant, she also resembles a spy in a World War II movie.
Posted on: Friday May 25, 2007 PST

Glam Diva Behind the City's Jumpingest Joint
With her smooth skin and gleaming black bob, in her tight, full-length black evening dress and string of plump pearls, Nalley is dazzling. You could hear an olive drop into a martini. No one except Nalley is moving as she glides across the floor, giving a friendly glance to one regular, a nod of the head to someone else. Part songstress, part hostess, the thirtysomething Nalley, with her stylish, brassy elegance, owns this crowd.
Posted on: Friday May 25, 2007 PST

The blissfully tuneful, versatile voice and stylings of Kim Nalley provide perfect accompaniment
for the rich verbal music in George C. Wolfe’s comic-poignant adaptation of three stories by Hurston
Posted on: Friday May 25, 2007 PST

Nalley is a show all by herself.
As a bonus, singer Nalley is a show all by herself. Not only does she stop the show on several occasions with her towering voice and enormous stage presence, but she also wrote several of the songs in the piece.

Kim Nalley performs with Gritty Grace
Kim Nalley is a kind of singing narrator, performing the original songs and a couple of her own compositions with a gritty grace.
Posted on: Wednesday May 23, 2007 PST

Kim Nalley is outstanding as Blues Speak Woman
by jeanne powell

Kim Nalley as Blues Speak Woman and Rodney Street as Guitar Man in Spunk: Three Tales by Zora Neale Hurston, playing at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, directed by Darryl V. Jones. Photo by Curtis Barnes.

"Spunk" at Lorraine Hansberry: What lifts the three stories from the page besides Nalley's pretty legs
"Spunk" at Lorraine Hansberry
Rocking chairs sit idle on the porch. A fence borders the perimeter and the house has multiple rooms, a table in the one. The place is "O, Way Down Nearby" in a time "Round About Long Go." The cast comes on stage singing a rhetorical: "How Do You Get to the Git" as if the answer were a Mapquest or Google maps search away.

Nalley's a definite knockout with powerhouse blues pipes
The music of the 1930s Harlem streets and the rural deep South enlivens the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre's stage in the aptly named "Spunk."

Pretty with a spirited smile and eyes that can twinkle or turn movingly soulful, Nalley is poised and accomplished, and she moves well-her body convey emotion. She is quite a good actress, sexy and flirty in Act One and affectingly poignant in Act two
Fortunately Kim Nalley sings them. She not Billie Holiday-Holiday was one of the most famously limited singers (part of the wonder of her achievement is that she did so much with a voice of narrow range and power) and Nalley clearly has it over her in the quality of her instrument - but she sounds at moment uncannily like her, and she’s terrific even when she doesn’t, when she lets herself shine through.

Kim Nalley is Billie Holiday in Lady Day In Love by Bruce Bellingham
There are moments in Kim Nalley's Performance as the legendary Billie Holiday in Lady Day In Love, now running at the Fellowship Theatre guild on Larkin (at Broadway), when she sounds uncannily like the star crossed siger. But beyond that, Kim has a way of taking the pathos, the tragedy, the toughness, and certainly the genius that Lady Day had and making it her own.

Posted on: Wednesday October 25, 2006 PST

Beautiful rendition of The Very Thought of You with exemplary accompaniment from David Hazeltine
San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley sat in for a beautiful rendition of "The Very Thought of You" with exemplary accompaniment from Hazeltine and then swung a straight ahead blues with the band. The satisfying set ended with Hazeltine's soulful We All Loved Eddie Harris.
Posted on: Thursday May 25, 2006 PST

If you close your eyes, Nalley's voice uncannily sounds like Holiday's, especially in those gritty sultry moments
With 16 well-loved Billie Holiday songs performed by SF Jazz singer Kim Nalley (owner of Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach), what's not to like in this new version of Lady Day in Love by C.H. Verburg? This play with music focuses on the years when Miss Holiday was a rising jazz star, and it's now playing at the Fellowship Theatre Guild.
Posted on: Tuesday May 23, 2006 PST

Nalley really bluesed it up, pouring syrup on every syllable.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund held their 7th annual gala at the Great American Music Hall with an awards ceremony and special rock and jazz performances by the Devilettes, Jacqui Naylor, and Kim Nalley, emceed for the third year by Dana Adkins, formerly of Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon
Posted on: Saturday February 25, 2006 PST





"The new voice in Jazz..."
La Repubblica, Italy





“ Kim Nalley is fast becoming the hottest singer in town. She is firmly in the tradition of the greats of jazz singing and moves effortlessly from sensuous ballad to bebop scat like a seasoned pro.”

Blues & Soul Magazine, Black Music & Jazz Review, United Kingdom




“She is like Jessica Rabbit and Louis Armstrong at the same time.”

“Last year the darlings of the festival were Roy Hargrove and Gary Brown, this year it is the Johnny Nocturne band with the splendid voice of Kim Nalley. While waiting for the arrival of Charlie Haden, Kim Nalley has been nominated this festival’s star . . . the public is crazy for her.”
Giorgio Santeria - Il Corriere Dell’ Umbria, Italy



Ever have that feeling that you're sitting in on something special - a music, a singer, a style that makes you feel a certain wistful reminiscence for this same night to begin all over again, even though it's barely begun? That is the effect of a Kim Nalley performance.

Jean Bartlett - Pacifica Tribune




DownBeat Magazine



"This was her first engagement at the Plush Room, and she quickly turned the cozy room into a steamy hothouse."

Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times, Feb. 2002

“BUT WHEN IT COMES TO VOICES, THERE’S NO TOUCHING KIM NALLEY, new chanteuse . . . is a knockout on vocals.” Sam Hurwitt - East Bay Express



“WHEN THE SAUCY KIM NALLEY SASHAYED UP TO THE MIC, IT WAS ALL OVER. GORGEOUS AND VIBRANT, wearing a shimmery white sausage -casing dress, she oozed and sweated and sung the heck out of all her numbers, completely winning over the chattering, cocktail-sipping crowd until she had everyone’s attention. Nocturne and his sax playing are giant, but the secret weapon is Kim Nalley. Yow!”

Mae Hemm - SF Chronicle online




"GOD CAN THIS WOMEN SING! Nalley's combination of sophistication and innocence is irresistible."

Blues Access Magazine



Her stylish performances of "But Not For Me" and "Slap That Bass" made a real hit with the audience and gave evidence of a new talent for the world of cabaret. This young woman more than held her own in the distinguished company surrounding her.

David M Schwartz - Cabaret.Org




Also on hand was the stupendous Kim Nalley, a sassy young vocalist just back from a European tour. Nalley worked her usual black magic, reducing males in the audience to swoons and hollers in about five minutes. Smith was a delight in this set, turning out some classy muted solos. John Handy let his funky side show in a thumping version of "Moten Swing" mixed with "You're Driving Me Crazy." And Nalley cut straight to the heart with a sultry version of "Body and Soul."

Forrest Bryant - All About Jazz, Living Legends Concert



“THE BEST SINGER, ANY STYLE I’VE HEARD IN YEARS. She’s young, sharp and hip; looks great, enjoys singing and knows all the moves of a knockout performer....”

Phil Elwood- San Francisco Examiner (June 12, 2000)




“SULTRY VOICED 28-YEAR-OLD- KIM NALLEY BRINGS AN IRRESISTABLY SEXY SENSE OF SWING, RYHTHMIC DEXTERITY AND BEAUTIFUL SOUND TO THE CLASSICS.” Ivie Anderson (Duke Ellington), a singer Nalley calls to mind with her crisp diction and playful delivery of earthy lines.”

Andrew Gilbert - Down Beat



“ A young but polished jazz singer, who wouldn’t be out of place in a 1940’s club . . . was the closest the evening came to making a discovery.” (Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention 2000)

Chad Jones- Oakland Tribune

"Adorned with a white flower, Billie Holiday-esque Kim Nally sings the blues and lends the evening a 1920s Prohibition-era Harlem Renaissance charm. "

Alyssa Nitchun - Metro



“Sassy, sexy vocalist Kim Nalley's spot-on-passion for the sultry phrasing, vampish attitude and cool confidence of mother diva Dinah Washington translate . . . In her mid-20’s and already a savvy performer . . . “

Sam Prestianni - San F rancisco Weekly




Kim Nalley and the Nocturne Band reminded the crowd that the south side wasn't the only place that had the blues goin' on in the 40's and 50's. They swung the blues with a jazz feeling, singer Kim Nally, looking and sounding like she just stepped out of the Cotton Club. My Kodak moment for this set was when Kim, a big Bessie Smith fan, commented on how much she liked this year's fest logo and then launched into an unrehearsed performance of Bessie's "St. Louis Blues".

Rt. Rev. J. "Muggles" Freebourne - Mississsppi Valley Blues News




“Million Dollar Secret with the Johnny Nocturne Band’s sensational new singer, Kim Nalley is at number 28 on the Gavin Chart this week.”

Paul Liberatore - Marin Independent Journal



“Other influences are acknowledged: Helen Humes, Dinah Washington, but in the end it’s Kim Nalley and no one else- an unforced instrument with clarity and jazzy musicality, effortlessly delivered, and a sense of humor to boot.”

Arthur Lazere - Culture Vulture




Nalley's technical mastery is apparent in subtle controlled shifts in timbre, register and overall vocal quality, from bell clear to gritty.

Tom Hyslop - Blues Revue



"She can go from sweet soprano to a growlin' baritone without breaking a sweat."

"Million Dollar Secret will most certainly be on my "top ten" list this year."

Bill Mitchell - Blues Bytes Surprise

“.... One would expect the sound to becoming from a 300lb church matron, not a diminutive young lady barely in her twenties . . . her voice maybe larger than she is but she controls it smoothly.
Whether singing in a duo or full band setting, her voice is truly captivating.”

The City, San Francisco’s Magazine



“GOLDEN-VOICED” Steve Hurwitt -

San Francisco Chronicle


Rebecca Wheler- NYC Lincoln Center Jazz Festival Director




Phil Elwood - San F rancisco Examiner



"Nalley sounds a little like Billie Holiday and a little like Dinah Washington, but ultimately she sounds like no one but herself, and she is spectacular."

Eric Fidler - Associated Press

“With her sultry wardrobe and vocal style, and the musicianship of her accomplished accompanists, her performances at the Ajax Lounge have been glorious and entertaining.”

“With the bearing and presence to melt crystal Kim Nalley belts song after song with style and grace.”

Ernie Hedman- San Jose Para Vida



Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention opening night gala] “The Bay Area’s versatile Kim Nalley sang ‘But Not For Me’ with a wistful touch of Dinah Washington’s inflections, then joined by tap-dancer Wayne Doba, she wowed the audience with a hot version of ‘Slap That Bass.’ Socko.” Phil Elwood - SF Examiner




[Teatro Zinzanni] "Kim Nalley, sends a sultry storm through the house with Stormy Weather.” Steve Winn - SF Chronicle




“The Johnny Nocturne Band with Kim Nalley’s singing, turned in a sensational set Saturday afternoon. (Monterey Jazz 1999) The Garden Stage crowd went ape over Nalley’s “Million Dollar Secret,” among other stunners.”

SF Examiner



[Monterey Jazz Festival] "Kim Nalley was in especially fine form, growling the blues when she had to or sweet talking a ballad when things got down and dirty."

Mac McDonald - Monterey County Herald (Sunday paper front page)



What else can I say about Kim Nalley, other than to say that she has it all - a great voice, a charismatic stage presence, a genuine sense of tradition, and as you can see, beauty that is truly mesmerizing. The band plays music that harkens back to earlier times when this brand of Blues was played with finesse, style, and a Jazz flair. Nalley will remind you of legends Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith.

Phat Tuesday





"Nalley's singing is one of the best things that have happened on the Bay area's musical scene in years . . .. her captivating personality draws listeners into her performance. She doesn't just stand there at the mike and sing, she strolls . . .. Her ability to shift vocal styles and to work through all types of songs with informal ease are the kind of cross-town leap that few singers, anywhere, can handle."

Phil Elwood - San Francisco Examiner (September 27, 2000)





Be sure to catch the interview with famed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas about the then up-coming Gershwing Concert featuring Kim Nalley...

Anthony Thommasini - New York Times (June 22, 1999)

Kim Nalley levede godt og vel op til forventningerne ved koncerten på Café Hack
Den amerikanske sangerinde Kim Nalley kom, sang og sejrede, da hun for et udsolgt hus i aftes tog århusianerne med storm.
Posted on: Sunday May 25, 2003 PST

Tuno Festival
Muligvis er der ikke mange danskere, der i dag kender Kim Nalley og hendes fremragende musikalitet og stemme. N�r hun har optr�dt p� Tun� Festival vil der mindst v�re et par tusinde flere, d
Posted on: Sunday May 25, 2003 PST

Umbria Jazz
ra le sue influenze principali, non a caso, la Nalley cita due icone della musica americana come Dinah Washington e Helen Humes.
Posted on: Sunday May 25, 2003 PST