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Possessing a voice as cool and crystalline as an Alpine stream, Natalie Cressman draws inspiration from a vast array of musical currents. A prodigiously talented trombonist, she’s spent the last 14 years touring as a horn player and vocalist with Phish's Trey Anastasio, while also performing around NYC with jazz greats Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, Anat Cohen, Dave Douglas, and Peter Apfelbaum.


Deeply versed in Latin jazz, post-bop, pop, and Brazilian music, Cressman has released three albums under her own name as well as three acclaimed duo albums with Brazilian-born guitarist Ian Faquini, her primary musical partner for the past decade. Together they’ve honed a singularly expansive creative communion encompassing their love of the Brazilian songbook, jazz, Impressionism and sophisticated pop songcraft. Focusing on their original songs, the duo’s recordings include 2019’s Setting Rays of Summer, 2022’s Auburn Whisper, and 2024's GUINGA, a tribute to the revered Brazilian composer and guitarist.


Cressman’s trombone prowess has earned her widespread recognition. In both 2019 and 2023 Downbeat awarded her “Rising Star Trombone” honors in the magazine’s annual critics’ poll.

Drawing on her love of groove, cool R&B and jazz, Cressman released the solo albums, Unfolding (2012) and Turn the Sea (2014), followed by  Etchings in Amber (2016), a gorgeous duo album with guitarist Mike Bono that introduced Cressman as a formidable musical force without her horn. She released The Traces EP in 2017, which expanded her creative reach into post-production with meticulously crafted soundscaped tracks inspired by R&B and indie pop.

Her passion for groove music hasn’t diluted her love of jazz. In 2016 SFJAZZ commissioned her to develop music for a concert celebrating the legacy of jazz trombonist/arranger Melba Liston. When she’s not performing her own music, Cressman can be found collaborating with some of the most illustrious figures in rock, funk, jazz and beyond such as Carlos Santana, Phish, Big Gigantic, Escort, Phil Lesh, Oteil Burbridge, The Motet, and Umphrey's McGee.


​Her mother, Sandy Cressman, is a jazz vocalist who immersed herself deeply in Brazilian music, collaborating with many of the country’s most respected musicians. Her father, Jeff Cressman, is a recording engineer and trombonist who recently concluded a two-decade run with Santana. Natalie quite naturally began studying trombone with her father, but set out to be a dancer rather than a musician. An aspiring ballerina until her junior year of high school, she changed courses when an injury sidelined her dance aspirations.


Her parents provided entrée to a number of enviable opportunities, but Cressman's own prodigious gifts continued to merit her presence in any number of high-profile settings. She soon found herself playing salsa with Uruguayan percussionist Edgardo Cambon e Orquesta Candela, Latin jazz with Pete Escovedo's Latin Jazz Orchestra, world music with Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra, and globally-inspired avant-garde jazz with multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, a close family friend. Cressman traveled east in 2009 to study at the Manhattan School of Music, and the following year jam band pioneer Trey Anastasio recruited her for his touring band. He met Cressman at 18, and “was instantly floored by how melodically and naturally she played and sang,” Anastasio says. “Natalie is the rarest of musicians. Born into a musical family and raised in a home filled with the sounds of Brazilian music, jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms, musicality is in her DNA." These days, she’s blazing new musical trails with Faquini, creating sumptuous songs where jazz and the Brazilian songbook intermingle.

Natalie is endorsed by King Trombones.

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