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Artist Spotlight: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
This is the seventh post in a series of articles highlighting the artists performing at The 2018 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Check out the rest here

-Allison Dee, Roots N Blues Intern

Please welcome back to the stage Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue! It’s been five years since we’ve last heard the jazzy tunes of Mr. Troy Andrews on our stage here at the Roots N Blues festival. Lucky for us, we will get to see him perform his newest album, Parking Lot Symphony, that was released in April 2017.

Andrews was born into an already very musical family; his talents blossomed naturally because he was surrounded by his grandfather and older brother, both of whom were musicians. His grandfather, Jessie Hill, was a well-known R&B recording artist, while his older brother, James, was a skilled trumpeter. Troy looked up to his older brother and fell in love with playing the trumpet, as well as other instruments. This instrumental inclination sparked the moniker “Trombone Shorty.” This name really stuck; he was well-known by an early age of 8, even having a club in his hometown of New Orleans named after him. The club called themselves “Trombone Shorts.”

Andrews became widely acclaimed rapidly. His talent was recognized especially in 2010 after he released his first album “Backatown.” In this album, he not only shows off his trombone playing talents but also his singing, keyboard & drums. This album raked in great feedback universally and was the number one album on the Billboard Jazz chart. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

Although Andrews has had many successes and has toured the world, one of his greatest accomplishments was performing at the White House in 2012. This lead him to partner with New Orleans mayor at the time Mitch Landrieu, and together they created the Trombone Shorty Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to donate new instruments to public schools around the country. The foundation also partnered with Tulane University, which helped to build the Trombone Shorty Academy which was an after-school program that was for striving musicians.

At RNB, we have a soft spot for this work because of the Roots N Blues Foundation & Blues in the Schools. Similar to Shorty’s work with the New Orleans students, Blues in the Schools provides children with hands-on music education taught by award-winning musicians and music educators. This mutual urge to grow musical education is just one of the reasons we love Trombone Shorty.

Since we have last seen him in 2013, Andrews and his band have kept themselves busy. In 2014, he performed at the 56th Grammy Awards in L.A. He played with artists like Macklemore, Madonna, and Queen Latifah. He didn’t stop there; In 2017, he opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their tour. He also signed with Blue Note Records as well as released his newest album, Parking Lot Symphony.

Hopefully Trombone Shorty will give us a taste of his new album at this years’ Roots N Blues Music Festival!