Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini
Photo Cred: Lauren Desberg Photography
"Auburn Whisper, the 2022 album from trombonist, singer, and songwriter Natalie Cressman and guitarist, composer, and vocalist Ian Faquini, not only serves as a testament to the couple's symbiotic musical partnership but also to their resilience during unprecedented times."
On “Already There”, a track from Cressman and Faquini’s new album, Auburn Whisper, the duo uses the convivial but intentional sotto voce that lovers do, playing off each other’s sense of calm and closeness. Cressman’s vocal is clarion-clear but there’s a quaver in it that makes it a perfect counterpart to the warm, relaxed breathiness of her trombone. Whether in multitracked harmony or solo, her brass playing is emotive and free, occasionally tough, always tender.
- A.D. AMOROSI, JazzTimes
"Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini’s unusual duo album Setting Rays of Summer sounds as fresh and revivifying as a clear mountain stream."
- Andrew Gilbert, JazzTimes
"Live, and on this album, Faquini’s unaffected tenor voice is accompanied sweetly but with deft syncopation on his acoustic guitar. Cressman’s sylphic, clear soprano sings in harmony or solo, and she switches effortlessly to slide trombone…It may also be the first time, in a long time, that record-buyers and live audiences have heard something Brazilian or otherwise that’s so unaffected and accessible to the heart."
- Jeff Kaliss, SF Classical Voice
"The resulting blend carries a powerful intimacy in the sound of their harmonized voices sailing over supple acoustic guitar and the occasional blast of smooth, pumping trombone This CD conveys a quiet, understated closeness that is really touching."
- Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz
“A gorgeous and sensuous album…Casual, unpretentious and as delicious as dipping your bread into a plate of fresh olive oil.”
- George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
"Her trombone is world-class, but her singing voice is another thing entirely, an empathic entity that channels the ages. Cressman’s is a flawless act that can only get better with time and age. Yep, I smell a Grammy — someday."
- Dave Good, San Diego Reader
"Faquini is an uncannily masterful composer"
- Paul de Barros, Seattle Times
• Currently have over 23,000 followers on Facebook and over 30,200 followers on Instagram (combined)
• 2019 - DownBeat Rising Star Trombone - WINNER
Describing the musical partnership of Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini as a duo is accurate, but their collaboration contains multitudes. She’s a trombonist, vocalist and songwriter from San Francisco. He’s a composer, guitarist, and singer from Brasilia. Together they’ve honed a singularly expansive creative communion encompassing their love of the Brazilian songbook, jazz, Impressionism and sophisticated pop songcraft.
Their original material features lyrics in Portuguese, French and English set to music drawing from a vast stylistic spectrum. With sumptuous two-part vocal harmonies hugging Brazilian-accented Portuguese accompanied by trombone and acoustic guitar, Cressman and Faquini’s richly orchestrated sound seems to emanate from a much larger ensemble.
Slated for release on GroundUP Music April 12, 2024, their third album, Guinga, is a tribute to the legendary Brazilian composer, guitarist and vocalist, who has mentored Faquini for more than a decade. Guinga himself performs on five tracks (joining the duo on three songs and Cressman alone on two). Focusing on his lesser known tunes, the project also includes three newer songs featuring Guinga’s lyrics set to music by Faquini. The album is dedicated to Cressman’s dear friend and horn section mate in the Trey Anastasio Band, saxophonist James Casey, who died on the first day of the Guinga recording, “and inevitably all the feelings of grief and loss poured into session,” Cressman says.
The duo’s first two albums together have fueled the rapidly growing recognition of their gorgeous sound, including a finalist nomination for “Duo of The Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2023. Both 2019’s Setting Rays of Summer and 2022’s Auburn Whisper received critical praise and topped many “best of” lists in their respective years. Together Cressman and Faquini have played their music across the US in venues ranging from intimate house concerts to performing arts halls and jazz festival stages such as the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass. They’ve also toured internationally in Brazil, Japan, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.