Venue Details

Rrazz Room @ Hotel Nikko
222 Mason Street San Francisco, CA 94102
Website Get directions
4.6 / 5 Rated by 82 members
Review from bk
Red Velvet 237 events 161 reviews

Kim Nalley is terrific. Great entertainer and interesting show about and with the songs of Nina Simone. Back up group is fantastic!!!

reviewed Jun 30 2011 report as inappropriate
Review from Greg Hearn
Red Velvet 55 events 5 reviews

A very poor representation of Nina Simone and her body of work. Nalley simply does not have the voice or stage presence to carry it off. She was rude to the audience and began by sharing inappropriate personal information (that she had just...continued

reviewed Jun 16 2011 report as inappropriate
Review from Susan Driscoll
52 events 32 reviews

As always I was not disappointed one little bit with Kim's show. Her range, interpretation, knowledge and voice are all simply perfect....not to mention her connection with the audience. Her affection for the music she sings is evident and her...continued

reviewed Jun 29 2011 report as inappropriate
View All 66 Reviews
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Quotes & Highlights

“Nalley pays homage to another great while maintaining her own spirit and concept, which is full of sass, skill and authority.” —DownBeat
“Nalley is one of the few singers on the West Coast with the dramatic presence and stylistic breadth to pull off a tribute that captures Simone’s entire oeuvre.” —San Jose Mercury News
“Like Nina Simone, Nalley is able to vocally plow a mighty road of jazz and spiritual, classical, folk, blues, pop, African chant and freedom without losing a note, without relinquishing her spell. Too many stars to rate!” —Pacifica Tribune
“To her credit, Nalley doesn’t mimic Simone’s style so much as she captures the rousing spirit of the era in which the high priestess of soul performed and, in doing so, makes each number her own.” —SF Station (4 of 5 stars)
“[The album]_ She Put a Spell On Me_ jumps with the rhythms and melodies that captured our hearts during Simone’s lifetime. Simone deserves hundreds of tributes like this one.” —All About Jazz


Named one of the “Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area,” Kim Nalley has also distinguished herself internationally with a beguiling combination of sass, soul and smarts. She’s just about the only vocalist around with the dramatic presence, stylistic breadth and technical skill (having a 3-and-a-half octave vocal range) to cover Nina Simone’s entire catalog from jazz and show tunes to folk and spirtuals. This award-winning tribute, a mix of history, multimedia and song, was first performed by Ms. Nalley weeks after Nina Simone’s death, recorded live and turned into a riveting album She Put a Spell on Me: Kim Nalley Sings Nina Simone, which was shortlisted for a 2006 Grammy Award. Kim Nalley’s combination of historical explanations and musical renditions in this tribute inspired the painting Mississippi Goddam’! by Jeremy Sutton which depicts Nina Simone in the foreground with slain civil right activist Medgar Evers and the four little girls killed in the Alabama church bombing in the background. (This painting will be on display during this concert series.)

A born singer from a family that boasts several generations of jazz musicians, Nalley studied opera and theatre at the Educational Center of the Arts in New Haven, CT, before relocating to San Francisco in the footsteps of the Grateful Dead. Paying for college by singing in small dives and jam sessions, Nalley learned all of the intricacies of jazz the old fashioned way. 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 to packed audiences – without amplification.

Since then, Kim Nalley has performed globally, living in Europe for several years before returning to San Francisco to take ownership of her own jazz club, the iconic “Jazz at Pearl’s” venue in the city’s historic North Beach district. She has collaborated and performed 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 critically acclaimed CDs on labels distributed worldwide, including _Million Dollar Secret, _which charted in the Jazz Top 40. No trip to San Francisco is complete without hearing Kim Nalley perform.

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