Once in a while, an artist is born with an inexplicable connection to a culture far from the artists 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 at U.C. Berkeley in the late 70s. After transferring to San Jose State University in order to major in Vocal Jazz, Sandy began hearing the music of Flora Purim, Tania Maria and Djavan, and began to study Portuguese. From then on, her record collection filled with recordings of Lins and Djavan, as well as the work of Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi, Toninho Horta, Elis Regina, Gal Costa, Jobim and others.
In 1992, Sandy began a solo career while still a member of Pastiche, and in 1996 began performing as a duo with Brazilian master keyboardist Marcos Silva. Silva, formerly musical director and arranger for Flora Purim and Airto, who has also worked with Toninho Horta, Dori Caymmi and other Brazilian greats, shared her passion for the music. Cressman and Silva developed and extensive repertoire, musical interplay and following in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1997, they expanded their group to a quintet, and in 1999, released УHomenagem BrasileiraФ, their critically acclaimed tribute to the great composers and performers of Brazilian Jazz. Sandy released her second CD of Brazilian music in 2005, entitled "Brasil-Sempre no Coracao". She has performed this repertoire around the U.S. as well as in France and Germany in 2006.
Sandy Cressman and Homenagem Brasileira have since performed at important West Coast Jazz Festivals such as the Monterey Jazz Festival and the San Jose Jazz Festival, as well as featured performances for radio stations KXJZ (Sacramento) and KCSM (San Francisco). In the fall of 2001, Sandy and Pastiche returned to the airwaves with a new CD release.
Sandy also performs frequently as part of Orquesta Candela, the Bay Area Allstar Salsa Band. Candela has performed in various national and international music venues, including the Festival Beny Morй in Havana, Cuba, in Guam, and all of the major California Jazz Festivals.
Another side of Cressman's world music talent is her work with Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra. Sandy has added her vocals to this East Indian/Jazz/Rock band since 1997 and has recorded on Jai's most recent 3 CDs. 2004's Pagan Love Orchestra release, Mondo Rama, was nominated for a Grammy in the Best World Music category.