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SJO caps year with Latin twist

Fri., May 13, 2011

The Spokane Jazz Orchestra closes its season Saturday night with a Latin flair.

San Francisco vocalist Sandy Cressman joins the 17-piece big band for “Brazilian Fire,” a program of Brazilian and other Latin jazz stylings, at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Cressman, born in New York City, first came to public attention with the Bay Area vocal trio Pastiche, with whom she recorded three CDS.

In 1992, Cressman launched a solo career while still a member of Pastiche. She had become interested in Brazilian music in the late 1970s while studying at the University of California, Berkeley, and began performing with Brazilian keyboardist Marcos Silva, former musical director and arranger for Floria Purim and Airto Moreira, in 1996.

They expanded to a quintet the following year and in 1999 released the self-titled album “Homenagem Brasileira,” a tribute to the great composers and performers of Brazilian jazz.

Cressman followed up with a second CD of Brazilian music, “Brasil-Sempre no Coração,” in 2005. Her latest project, the four-piece Quarteto Sombra y Luz, combines Brazilian jazz with elements of Cuban bolero, Spanish flamenco, bossa nova, samba and other Latin rhythms.

In addition, Cressman performs with groups including Orquesta Candela, a Bay Area all-star salsa ensemble, and Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra, an East Indian/jazz/rock band.

She has recorded with Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Columna B, among many others, along with numerous contributions to soundtracks and commercials.

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