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Sandy Cressman

Once in a while, an artist is born with an inexplicable connection to a culture far from the artist’s origins. Such is the case with Sandy Cressman. Born in New York City of American parents, but with a Brazilian heart, Cressman began her recording career with the highly acclaimed vocal trio Pastiche, with whom she recorded three CDs, "That’s R&Bebop" (Pony/Canyon/Nova) "Remember That" (BluePrint), and "Pastiche"(Summit).

Sandy’s connection with Brazilian music was first sparked when she first heard the music of Ivan Lins while in college as a vocal jazz major San Jose State University. Sandy began exploring other Brazilian jazz musicians and began to study Portuguese.

While many an American jazz singer flirts with the Brazilian Songbook, Sandy Cressman made a name for herself as a true devotee of the country’s greatest contemporary composers, interpreting songs by post-bossa masters like Milton Nascimento, Hermeto Pascoal, Gilberto Gil, and Filó Machado in Rio-accented Portuguese. The friendships forged with Brazilian musicians during her musical travels course through her captivating new album Entre Amigos, a project that marks a major new chapter for Cressman as a tunesmith. Entre Amigos features a gorgeous array of new songs created with a far-flung cast of collaborators, including the celebrated Pernambuco frevo composer/bandleader Spok, rising Brazilian-American guitarist Ian Faquini, pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto, and pianist Antonio Adolfo, a Brazilian jazz master who got his start at the center of Rio’s early 1960s bossa nova scene. “All these years of delving into Brazilian music gave me great opportunities to meet and sing with a lot of interesting musicians,” Cressman says. “For a long while I concentrated on mining the treasures in the existing repertoire. But at a certain point I started writing and asking people to collaborate, and Entre Amigos collects many of these amazing connections.” Her first new album since 2005’s celebrated Brasil—Sempre no Coração, a project devoted to definitive songs by masters of MPB (música popular brasileira), Cressman never stepped away from music. As an educator and linchpin of a bustling creative family including her husband, former longtime Santana trombonist and recording engineer Jeff Cressman; their older daughter, New York trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman; and their younger daughter, Los Angeles dancer Julianna Cressman, she’s maintained deep musical ties with some of the region’s finest musicians. There’s nothing quite like being massively overscheduled to concentrate one’s attention, and Cressman came up with an enthralling set of answers to the self-searching question, “What do I really want to do with this music?” The album opens with “Como Eu Quero Cantar,” a brisk and alluring song she wrote with Dani and Debora Gurgel, who lead a celebrated samba jazz quartet in São Paulo.

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Album Review

Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini: Guinga

Read "Guinga" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Brazilian guitarist-composer Guinga is something of a legendary figure. A polyglot performer associated with música popular brasileira's all-encompassing ethos, he's made his name fusing the contemporary and folkloric strains of his homeland with classical, jazz, rock and pop stylings. His influence looms large in that particular niche of the music world--and, honestly, beyond--and he receives his flowers on this warm tribute from trombonist Natalie Cressman and guitarist Ian Faquini. This unique duo, which made an instantly positive ...

Album Review

Taj Mahal: Savoy

Read "Savoy" reviewed by Steve Yip

Folk/blues practitioner Taj Mahal's Savoy is to be savored. As one of the custodians of the blues, Mahal has long been a legend in his own time. This collection traverses a cultural-musical continuum in an indispensable residency in the annals of Black American music. The namesake of this album--the Savoy on Lenox Avenue in Harlem--was known as The World's Finest Ballroom and Home Of Happy Feet. In the pre-Civil Rights era, the North claimed formal equality, but segregation ...

Album Review

Taj Mahal: Savoy

Read "Savoy" reviewed by Dave Linn

Savoy, from Taj Mahal, is the latest entrant in the crowded field of pop music artists trying their hand at the fertile songbook of old big-band, swing-era standards. Unlike most, Mahal's roots show he's well suited to the task. He was born in Harlem in 1942. He grew up in a musical family, and his parents were both involved in the arts. His father was a jazz pianist and arranger, working with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Fletcher Henderson among ...

Album Review

Ray Obiedo: Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2

Read "Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Sometimes it is difficult to banish the words of Ecclesiastes from your mind when listening to a recording: “There is no new thing under the Sun." While that may be true of music in particular--one builds on the past, just as in other fields--it is no good reason for not listening or for simple indifference. Gerald Wilson's “Viva Tirado" has been around since the 1970s, and Wilson himself has been quoted as being once surprised by hearing the El Chicano ...

Bailey's Bundles

Female Vocals 2017 I – Cynthia Hilts, Judith Nijland, Andrea Claburn, Sandy Cressman, Lisa Biales

Read "Female Vocals 2017 I – Cynthia Hilts, Judith Nijland, Andrea Claburn, Sandy Cressman, Lisa Biales" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Take a day off and the recordings pile up and bury you. Female jazz vocals continue to dominate recordings with no indication on letting up. Most these recordings are very good and deserve recognition. So here is my picayune effort to address a few of them. Cynthia Hilts Lyric Fury Blonde Coyote 2016 “Twenty years ago, Brooklyn-based pianist/composer Cynthia Hilts was seeking to form a band 'that sounds like ...

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Bay Area Vocalist Sandy Cressman Reaffirms Her Deep Connections With Brazilian Music On New CD "Entre Amigos"

Bay Area Vocalist Sandy Cressman Reaffirms Her Deep Connections With Brazilian Music On New CD "Entre Amigos"

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

As founder and leader of the group Homenagem Brasileira, San Francisco-based vocalist/educator Sandy Cressman has had many opportunities over the last 20-plus years to forge creative partnerships with like-minded musicians from the Bay to Brazil. Her entrancing new album, Entre Amigos, which will be released on February 3 by her Cressman Music imprint, marks the culmination of these relationships and is a celebration of her own deep history with the music and the players. Though the new CD is her ...



Letters to NARAS: Sandy Cressman Writes About the Latin Jazz Grammy

Letters to NARAS: Sandy Cressman Writes About the Latin Jazz Grammy

Source: The Latin Jazz Corner by Chip Boaz

On Wednesday April 6th, The National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences announced a “restructuring" of The Grammy Awards, a move that included the elimination of the Latin Jazz Grammy. This unfortunate decision undermines the integrity of Latin Jazz and disregards its importance as a major piece of the cultural landscape in the United States. I would encourage all LJC readers to protest this decision and demand that NARAS reinstate the Latin Jazz Grammy immediately—you can do this by sending ...



The Jazz Hang: Sandy Cressman and Homage to Brazil

The Jazz Hang: Sandy Cressman and Homage to Brazil

Source: Seattle Jazz Scene

Sandy Cressman is a San Francisco jazz vocalist, who has devoted the majority of her career to the study and performance of Brazilian music. This Saturday, Sandy will be appearing at along with the Jovino Santos Neto Trio and together they will perform her Homage to Brazil- a musical journey through the world of Brazilian jazz at Bakes Place. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandy about her career and about Brazilian music. She was warm and ...

"A singer's singer who has graced the work of artists like Ray Obiedo, Pete Escovedo, and Rebeca Mauleon, Sandy has carved a name for herself...'Homenagem Brasileira' is a cool shower of interpretive works that showcases the warmly superb and crystalline voice of this emerging diva." - Latin Beat Magazine

"Cressman's solos stormed across the entire tradition of trombone techniques..... Standout performers included trombonist Jeff Cressman, who took a few monster solos" -Los Angeles Times

“A future star! Natalie Cressman’s got a great sound and some knockout credentials for her age.” - tromboneforum.com



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Self Produced



Stony Plain Records


Latin Jazz Project...

Rhythmus Records


Entre Amigos

Self Produced


Brasil-Sempre No...

Cressman Music



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