In 2009, Trey Anastasio of Phish 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.”
Her far flung musical passions continue to bear new fruit, as her identity as a horn player and a singer/songwriter evolve in different directions. Playing funk trombone in arenas and cavernous theaters has required developing an aggressive new vocabulary of shouts, growls, smears and yelps, a la the JB Horns’ Fred Wesley. Her vocal work in increasingly intimate and rhythmically insinuating settings has revealed an artist who can thrive in any setting, from raucous, reverberant halls to packed and pulsing lofts and nightclubs. In an epoch marked by infinite musical possibilities, Natalie Cressman is a singular force who draws from an improbable breadth of sonic realms.
Her new EP five-song EP Traces reveals her latest evolution, a sleek and sensuous electronica-laced sound with even a trace or two of dance floor sweat.
Steadily evolving in many directions, the 25-year-old Cressman has already put down deep roots in several overlapping scenes. A prodigiously talented New York City-based trombonist, she’s spent the past seven years touring the jam band circuit as a horn player and vocalist with Phish’s Trey Anastasio (and recently played with Phish at Madison Square Garden). Deeply versed in Latin jazz, post-bop, pop, and Brazilian music, she tapped the interlaced traditions on her first two solo albums, 2012’s Unfolding and 2014’s Turn the Sea.