A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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When it comes to the vocalist and trombonist Natalie Cressman, the guitarist and Phish frontman Trey Anastasio proclaims, “she’s an incredible player.” The acclaimed trombonist Josh Roseman praises her “strong sense of time,” and her “really beautiful phrasing.”

Natalie comes from a musical family: her mother is a vocalist, and her father is equally in demand as a trombonist and as a sound engineer. Growing up in San Francisco, the young artist received formative opportunities to perform alongside Miguel Zenón, Joe Lovano, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Carlos Santana, all before graduating high school. During this period, she also broadened her outlook as a regular member of Peter Apfelbaum and the New York Hieroglyphics.

After high school, Natalie moved to New York to continue her studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Since arriving here, she’s performed regularly both as the leader of her own group (Secret Garden, formerly known as The Natalie Cressman Sextet), and as a sideperson with Apfelbaum and Nicholas Payton. When her father had to turn down a tour with Anastasio in 2010, he nominated his daughter to replace him. Natalie spent three seasons touring sold out venues across the country with Anastasio and his band, and can be heard on the group’s live album, TAB at the TAB (Rubber Jungle).

Natalie has been hard at work on her debut album, Unfolding, which features her collaborators in Secret Garden: the tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, the trumpeter Ivan Rosenberg, the pianist Pascal LeBoeuf, the bassist Ruben Samama, and the drummer Jake Goldbas. On Thursday night, we will celebrate the completion of Unfolding with a pre-release party at The Gallery.

We first heard Natalie when she performed at The Gallery in 2009 with Apfelbaum, but this will be her first time leading a band on our stage. We heard through the grapevine that the group will be premiering new originals, including songs from Unfolding, as well as covers of St. Vincent, Hanne Hukkelberg, and Bon Iver. And, although her album won’t be officially released until August, you’ll be able to buy copies of it at the concert.

Watch a video about Unfolding and support the project on Kickstarter.