Raise ‘Em Up: Trombone Shorty Funks up Jazz Fest
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews blasts onto the stage with a scream and armed with a trombone in one hand and trumpet in the other. Bam! both horns attack with staccato gunshots spraying musical rubber bullets into the audience. The wall of sound commands the volunteer army of Orleans Avenue to yell and rise to their feet. The show has begun, fingers curl around the trumpet, the trombone lashes out, extending far into the audience, the performer stalks the stage, levitates and then the voice begins, his third instrument…hurricane season has begun. The musical levee has broken and the deluge of funk, jazz, hip hop and blues flows from the stage.
Trombone Shorty, true of most blues names, is an exaggeration far from the truth, as his slim towering height and astonishing reach can attest. But, at the age of six the name was apt; as a child he yielded his trombone through the streets in a New Orleans Brass Band. He went from backtotown brass bands to playing horns for Lenny Kravitz, U2 and Green Day. Early on, Off Beat magazine picked him as performer of the year; his backtotown album spent nine consecutive weeks in the Billboard number one Contemporary Jazz spot, the New Orleans Saint’s chose him to open up the Superdome for the playoff’s and Obama invited into his living room at the White House.
Ascending even higher, his new album, For True, collaborates with the likes of Warren Haynes, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Jeff Beck. Call me beautiful, Troy, we are all hooked.