Nalley, co-owner of Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco,
announced Tuesday afternoon (April 1) that the storied
North Beach jazz club will be closing its doors at the end
my best efforts," Nalley wrote in an e-mail sent out
by her publicist, "I will be unable to gain sole
ownership of Pearl's and the lease. Jazz at Pearl's will
close at the end of April."
an established jazz and R&B singer, purchased the club
from former owner Pearl Wong in 2003 with her
husband, Steve Sheraton. The couple is reportedly
in the midst of a divorce, precipitating the sudden and
unexpected announcement that the club would go dark at
would not be making this announcement if I thought there
was any glimmer of hope" for keeping the nightclub
open, Nalley wrote.
although I have had many people that want me to open
another place from scratch," she noted, "I think
that it is time to direct my focus back to my singing
career once Pearl's closes."
Takes the Jazz Community by Surprise
surprise announcement came just months after Yoshi's
debuted its new jazz club in the city's historic Fillmore
District. For many years, Pearl's was the lone jazz venue
in San Francisco that consistently attracted
nationally-recognized musicians — as well as an
impressive roster of local jazz talent — to its
cramped stage. The club itself only had room for 100
2003, former owner Pearl Wong announced her intentions to
retire from the nightclub business. For a while, jazz fans
thought they were losing a legendary jazz house; instead,
Nalley and her husband rescued the club from closing.
said that rather than assessing blame for the club's
impending closure, she preferred to remember "the wonderful run that we
have had, the staff of Jazz at Pearl's whose hard work and
loyalty helped keep the club doors open, the great
musicians and patrons that have stepped through the door
and everyone that helped make this venue wonderful.
she added in closing her message, "I'll be seeing you
in all the old familiar places."
Jazz at Pearl's website currently has performances
scheduled through April 27. Featured artists in the
venue's last few weeks include saxophonist Mike
Zilber's Collective Quintet (April 11-12), pianist
Larry Vuckovich's Hard Bop Trio (April 24), and saxophonist
(April 18-19). Nalley herself is slated to perform on
Friday and Saturday, April 25-26.
club has not yet scheduled any final performances to mark
the closing at month's end.
is not an April Fool's Day joke! We checked
directly with the club before posting this article late Tuesday