Kim Nalley: I Want A Little Boy

Jazz singer, dancer, club-owner, activist, promoter, historian, journalist and doctor here performs effectively with a band including Houston Person and Barry Finnerty


After studying piano and classical music in New England, Kim Nalley became resident in the Bay Area where she sang in clubs and also worked with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, performing a programme of music by the Gershwins. She also sang at jazz festivals, including Monterey and Umbria and spent some time living in Europe.

On her return to the Bay Area, she built a following in part through a five-year tenure at Jazz at Pearl’s, where she was owner and artistic director. In 2005, she was named as Most Influential African American in the Bay Area. In addition to singing, Nalley is an accomplished dancer, founded the Kim Nalley Black Youth Jazz Scholarship, and in New York and San Francisco has performed tributes to significant figures in music and civil rights activism.

She wrote a musical play about Ella Fitzgerald, Ella: The American Dream, and she was cast as Billie Holiday in a play by C.J. Verburg, Lady Day In Love.

Nalley also writes for magazines and has written several scholarly papers dealing with jazz in history. In 2021, her dissertation for her doctorate at UC Berkeley was GI Jazz: African Americans As Artists And Occupiers In Post-WW II Germany.

Nalley’s commanding vocal sound is rich, powerful, ranges through more than three octaves and is ideal for her chosen repertoire, which encompasses jazz, R&B and the blues. During the past two years, many musicians have used their skills to portray grim activities in many countries. In dark times like these, however, music is a hugely important means of bringing light and joy to lives worldwide and Kim Nalley certainly achieves this. Very warmly recommended.

Teardrops From My Eyes; Try A Little Tenderness; Pennies From Heaven; I Want A Little Boy; Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood; It’s All In The Game; I Hadn’t Anyone; Crazy He Calls Me; I Want A Little Boy (reprise); Never Let Me Go (51.08)
Nalley (v); Houston Person (ts); Tammy Hall (p); Barry Finnerty (g); Michael Zisman (b); Kent Bryson (d); Maria Muldaur (v, on I Want A Little Boy, first version). Unknown location, 2021.
Kim Nalley Jazz Productions