Trombone Shorty

American Routes: Trombone Shorty

Jun 16, 2017
Trombone Shorty
Trombone Shorty Foundation

Each week, American Routes brings you Shortcuts, a sneak peek at our upcoming show. This week we talk to New Orleans senior statesmen Trombone Shorty, who began playing music in Treme at age four. Trombone Shorty chose to be a musical journeyman instead of seeking to attend the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. Since then, the 31-year-old has brought his distinctive style of New Orleans music all over the world.

Greg Miles

Local music is so widespread here that we sometimes forget to consider New Orleans musicians on an individual level. In the first installment of a new series from NolaVie called “Listening to Locals,” Brian Friedman sat down with jazz saxophonist James Martin, whose album, Something’s Gotta Give, came out January 13. It’s a reflection on the grind, the late nights, and the hustle of the local music scene, as well as the travels that have taken him all over the world.

Trombone Shorty visits his childhood home

Aug 21, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Jenny Ament

Troy Andrews, who is better known as Trombone Shorty, started performing as a child in a family and neighborhood of musicians in Treme, New Orleans.

Now he's one of the city's musical luminaries. He also started a foundation to teach young musicians how to make a living in the music business.

Andrews speaks with Lizzie O’Leary while strolling through his old neighborhood.

This week, we've brought the show to New Orleans, where Troy Andrews — better known as Trombone Shorty — began playing music at age 4. He was touring with his brother's band by age 6, and went to the same performing arts academy as Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard and the Marsalis brothers. Now, just shy of 30, he's doing his part to spread New Orleans music around the world.

We've invited him to answer three questions about obscure musical instruments.

In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.

The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.

"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The recession and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hit New Orleans hard, and that was after Katrina. The population has yet to return to pre-hurricane levels. Some houses lie empty, some properties abandoned, and the city continues to suffer from crime and unemployment.