Peter Apfelbaum’s Sparkler, Natalie Cressman
Monday, July 6, 2015, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

co-bill of pop sensibilities infused with jazz

$22 adv / $24 door

Purchase tickets online
July 06 8:00 pm

Peter Apfelbaum is a musician, composer, and band leader extraordinaire. Born in Berkeley in 1960, he started innovating as a three-year-old when he first picked up a pair of drumsticks, moved on to piano and saxophone in elementary school, and at age 11 formed his first band. In his senior year at Berkeley High, he founded the 17-piece Hieroglyphics Ensemble as a vehicle for exploring non-traditional musical forms. Since then, he’s worked with a staggering array of extraordinary musicians, including a long line of Berkeley greats—Benny Green, Craig Handy, Steve Bernstein, Dave Ellis, Joshua Redman—as well as Lee Konitz, Oliver Lake, Don Cherry, O.J. Ekemode, Dafnis Prieto, Cecil Taylor, Charlie Hunter, the late Levon Helm, Harry Belafonte, the Grateful Dead, and Trey Anastasio. “What’s most striking,” says All About Jazz, “is Apfelbaum's genre-mashing ambition as he blends jazz with a host of world music influences to form a powerfully grooving sound that’s utterly benign, even beatific.” Sparkler features Peter on keyboards, saxophone, and vocals, Jill Ryan on alto sax and vocals, Natalie Cressman on trombone and vocals, Erika Oba on keyboards, Will Bernard on guitar and bass, and Charles Ferguson on drums. The music on their debut EP, I Colored It In For You, sparkles with beauty, emotion, and intriguing ideas.


Natalie CressmanNatalie Cressman, the daughter of Bay Area trombonist Jeff Cressman and vocalist Sandy Cressman, is a trombonist, vocalist, and composer who makes music with a maturity and range of musical influences beyond her years. As a student at San Francisco High School of the Arts, she played salsa with Edgardo Cambon e Orquesta Candela, Latin jazz with Pete Escovedo’s Latin Jazz Orchestra, world music with Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra, Brazilian with Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira, and avant-garde jazz with Peter Apfelbaum and the New York Hieroglyphics. While studying at the Manhattan School of Music, she formed her own band, and her debut album, Unfolding, earned rave reviews. The San Jose Mercury News called it “startlingly beautiful,” the website Critical Jazz described it as an “incredibly impressive debut release from an amazing young artist whose musical stock should now be an arrow pointing straight up,” and Indie Music Reviewer Magazine said, “Natalie Cressman is, to put it simply, an extraordinarily talented young woman.” Her latest album, Turn the Sea, has won more raves, not only for her tart trombone but for her wonderful singing and songwriting. Think of Joni Mitchell at her jazziest or Flora Purim. Her band tonight features Mike Bono on guitar, Jonathan Stein on bass, Mike Mitchell on drums, and Natalie herself on trombone and vocals.


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Natalie Cressman photo by Emma Lauren Soler

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