Our own SF Bay Area jazz singers Kim Nalley and Kenny Washington are coming to San Jose to sing for us this summer. They will be at the SJ Jazz Summer Fest at 4 pm on Saturday August 8. Click here for the Summer Fest site for lots of good info on this performance, and on the Fest. (Under the “Lineup” tab click “alphabetical”, then scroll down to “k” for Kim.) The site also has a glowing summary of their many accomplishments.
Kim Nalley has a great voice; clear, warm, and full of tone. She’s a classic in mid-career and will sing to your heart & spirit. Her voice comes out firm and strong when the song calls for it. Kim got childhood piano lessons from her great grandmother. Just past 18, it started being Grateful Deadhead trips, and a move to New York City for performing. After a switch to jazz, life became performing & touring for us.
Kenny Washington is a veteran New Orleans-born singer who has long called Oakland home. He is often compared to such greats as Stevie Wonder, Al Green and Donny Hathaway. Music authorities have been quoted as saying “He’s known as a treasure; he’s an amazing vocalist.”
The gospel-bred Washington possesses a multi-octave range and is known for his liquid tone and jaw-dropping rapid-fire scat singing. The San Francisco Chronicle called him “the Superman of the Bay Area jazz scene.” Try clicking here for a few of his sample tracks. On this same site you can view some of his CD releases.
But what makes up today’s Kim Nalley ? Here is a look into the earlier blog reviews of Kim.
A fair amount of her career travels aren’t easy to see. She was raised in New England with early college music & singing schooling, and local band performing. At first the bands were local rock. Then she hit a jazz band, and her “eyes opened wide,” as they say; the game was on.
The next era was the Bay Area: a move to SF in 1991. In these early 90’s the area jazz fashion did a curious circuit, passing over her while chasing “acid jazz,” and then circling back to her style of swing jazz saying “Oh, listen to that !” To get the flavor try looking up some late ’90s releases such as tracks on the albums “Alta Plaza Live: Tuesday Farewell” (MTT) and “Million Dollar Secret” (Rounder) (page down there for sound tracks).
Starting in 2001 Kim took up world tours based from Switzerland for two years, with more releases of early 2000’s material. See “It’s Bo Grumpus Christmas” (Bogrump) and tracks on “Need My Sugar” (CE Jazz).
Two thousand and three saw Kim arrive back in San Francisco, to re-open and own the SF club “Jazz at Pearl’s.” See release samples of her work then and now: “Teach Me Tonight” on Jazz Dialogues (Finas) (page down for track 7), “She Put a Spell On Me” (CE Jazz), and “Ballads for Billie” (CE Jazz again) and “Trouble of the World” on Blues People.
Hit the Umpqua Bank Stage Saturday afternoon Aug 8 at 4 pm, to hear jazz/R&B singer Kim Nalley with Kenny Washington. (This venue is in the San Jose Stage Company on S. 1st St) This is part of the SJ Jazz Summer Fest which is playing all weekend at multiple downtown SJ venues.