Natalie Cressman has accomplished that which seems unlikely in a musical setting. She brings together her lithe, nuanced vocals and her warm trombone tone to create a symbiotic, lush tapestry of sound. Her writing is dynamic and vibrant, and allows her to coax graceful gestures out of the trombone and combine them with her soaring vocals. The source is, at its core, her singular vision, which incorporates elements of jazz, world music, folk, R&B, and indie rock. Her indelible sound can be heard on her group Secret Garden’s most recent release “Unfolding” and in her consistent touring with Phish’s Trey Anastasio.
At 21, she’s honed a worldly conception of her own. Hailed as a “velveteen- voiced brass-blower” by the Denver Post, Cressman has sought to stretch across stylistic boundaries with every project and has performed at the country’s most noted venues, from Carnegie Hall to the House of Blues, to the Apollo to Lincoln Center.
Growing up in the diverse climate of San Francisco, CA, Natalie tapped into an eclectic musical scene at an early age. By age 15, she was performing regularly with Pete Escovedo’s Latin Jazz Orchestra, Edgardo Cambon e Orquesta Candela, Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra, Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira, and avante-garde Jazz artist Peter Apfelbaum and the New York Hieroglyphics.
She went on to work with Carlos Santana, Joe Lovano, Sheila E., Miguel Zenon, Ambrose Akinmusire, Eric Harland, Josh Roseman, Jesus Diaz, and Steven Bernstein.
In 2008, Natalie performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. The following year she was selected to the GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles and SFJAZZ High School All- Stars Jazz Band and later was named a YoungArts Winner in Jazz by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA).
And that was before she finished high school.
Once she began her studies at Manhattan School of Music, Natalie quickly immersed herself into the NYC scene, performing with her own band, Secret Garden, and gaining fans from working with Nicholas Payton’s TSO and Peter Apfelbaum’s NY Hieroglyphics Ensemble, among others. Her widest exposure however has come from three years of touring with Phish’s Trey Anastasio.
“Secret Garden allows me to harness my divergent passions for the cultures of Brazil, Cuba, and India, along with the American jazz and folk traditions.” Natalie is an artist who sees no barriers between the incalculable accomplishments of the past and the urgent demands of the present.