Kim Nalley, Mon. August 20, 2012


Kim Nalley
Monday, August 20, 2012
Kuumbwa Jazz

“Kim Nalley has pipes to burn…” – San Francisco Chronicle

Kim Nalley makes it all happen with a powerful 3½ octave range that easily captivates her audiences. Whether it’s a bold and brassy jump-blues, or a cool and laidback ballad, Nalley imbues vintage tunes with an infectious energy. Over the years, she has earned generous accolades on her journey from small clubs to international concert halls. Her versatility is apparent in collaborations with jazz luminaries, such as Rhoda Scott and Houston Person. Kim’s special tributes to vocal legends Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald, also spotlight her talents as an actress and playwright. Ballads For Billie is her most recent solo CD.

Born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, Kim Nalley grew up in a household where the love of music was second nature. Her first piano teacher was her great-grandmother. In her teens, Kim studied opera and theater. Along the way she became a fan of the Grateful Dead, eventually making the trek to the  Dead’s ‘birthplace,’ San Francisco.  At first, she busked on street corners to earn money, belting out everything from opera to blues. She enrolled at UC Berkeley, but her real education was learning to sing jazz standards at jam sessions. It wasn’t long before her voice caught the attention of SF Jazz Festival director Randall Kline and jazz critic Phil Elwood. Her reputation as a top-notch singer increased with ventures into jump-blues, big bands, and small jazz groups. Appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Umbria (in Europe), and the Tokyo Jazz Festival vaulted her on to the international festival circuit. She also has an avid following in Europe, where she lived and performed in the early 2000s.

In 2003, Kim left Europe, returning to San Francisco to take the helm at Pearls jazz club, for five years. She also returned to the theater, performing at Teatro Zinzanni as Madame Zinzanni; playing Spunk in Blues Speak Woman, and portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day In Love. Her concerts took on historical themes as tributes to her favorite vocalists: She Put A Spell On Me: A Tribute to Nina Simone; Ella: The American Dream, for Ella Fitzgerald; and Lady Sings the Blues, for Billie Holiday. Over her career, Nalley has collaborated with a long list of top jazz artists, including David ‘Fathead’ Newman, Roy Hargrove, and James Williams. The San Jose Mercury declared her singing, “… as rhythmically fluid and melodically inventive as a bebop saxophonist, though she can also deliver a ravishing ballad with a finely honed sense of drama.”

Kim Nalley

DATE: Monday, August 20, 2012
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $22/Adv $25/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227 

Media contacts:
Sandy Sloan

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