On July 18 only, she will present a very special tribute to the late vocal legend Etta James, which will co-star “Queen of the West Coast Blues” Sugar Pie De Santo and feature special guest vocalists Lady Memphis and Angela Strehli.
Nalley has been called “the best singer, any style, I have heard in years” says Phil Elwood of the San Francisco Examiner. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, she “has pipes to burn and she works the stage like she means it.” She is knows for her 3 ½ octave range that can go from operatic to gritty blues on a dime, projection that can whisper a ballad yet is capable of filling a room with no microphone, and the ability to scat blistering solos without ever losing the crowd's interest or the intense swing.
A born singer from a family that boasts several generations of jazz musicians, Nalley was taught piano by her great-grandmother and studied opera and theatre in high school, before relocating to San Francisco. She worked her way through college by singing in small dives and jam sessions. Music critic Phil Elwood and SF Symphony director Michael Tilson Thomas quickly discovered Kim Nalley and brought her to national attention after they noticed her singing nightly at the Alta Plaza to packed audiences without amplification.
Since then, Kim Nalley has performed globally, including major jazz festivals such as Monterey, Umbria Jazz and Lincoln Center and lived in Europe for several years before returning to San Francisco to re-open the jazz club Jazz at Pearl's. During her tenure from 2003 to 2008, Nalley raised the club to iconic international acclaim as the owner and artistic director. She has collaborated with artists such as Rhoda Scott, David Fathead" Newman, Houston Person, James Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. She has recorded several on both major and indie labels, including She Put A Spell On Me, which was short-listed for a 2006 Grammy Award, and Million Dollar Secret, which charted in the Jazz Top 40.
Nalley often combines music and history to create historical concerts, including her award-winning Ladies Sing the Blues," She Put a Spell on Me: Tribute to Nina Simone," the multimedia presentation Black History Month Concert Series and The Heart of Lady Day," a Billie Holiday biopic. As a playwright she has written Ella: the American Dream" a bio-musical about Ella Fitzgerald which premiered in 2008. As an actress she portrayed Billie Holiday in the dramatic play Lady Day in Love," Blues Speak woman in Zora Neale Hurston's Spunk" and has starred in Teatro Zinzanni as Madame Zinzanni, a role subsequently filled by Joan Baez.
The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko
222 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Wednesdays, July 11 & July 18 at 8:00 PM,
Thursdays, July 12 & July 19 at 8:00 PM,
Fridays, July 13 & July 20 at 8:00 PM,
Saturdays, July 14 & July 21 at 8:00 PM and
Sundays, July 15 & July 22 at 7:00 PM
Tickets are $32-$40
800-380-3095 // 415-394-1189 http://www.therrazzroom.com/