Troy Andrews is a trombone player from way back (although he also more than capably handles the trumpet, organ, drums and more). He graduated from the same New Orleans high school music program as Branford and Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. Having grown up in a musical family in NOLA’s Treme neighborhood, Andrews, despite only being 31, has already been playing the trombone for more than 25 years. Getting his start at such a young age earned him the name Trombone Shorty: He first played Jazz Fest, taking the stage alongside Bo Diddley, when he was only four. And these days, he’s got the honor of closing out America’s best festival every year. But it’s Andrews’ talent, not his age (or his height), that’s the reason Trombone Shorty (above, covering the Meters’ “It Ain’t No Use” live in studio for KCRW FM) has toured the world, playing an exhilarating combination of funk, hip-hop, jazz and rock—not to mention working alongside the likes of Foo Fighters and Lenny Kravitz. His fourth studio album, Parking Lot Symphony (stream it below), and first on Blue Note Records, arrived this past April, earning him comparisons to Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire. AllMusic said he “fully embraces the organic ’70s-style R&B he’s heretofore only touched on.” Further adding that the album is one of his “most balanced productions, equal parts New Orleans R&B sophistication and loose, block-party fun.” That fun is what makes Trombone Shorty such an engaging, don’t-miss entertainer and performer. Catch him live at Terminal 5 on Friday and Saturday. L.A. four-piece Vintage Trouble open both shows.
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Trombone Shorty – Terminal 5 – December 10, 2014
It’s become something of a routine—the weather turns cold, December rolls around and Trombone Shorty returns to New York City to play Terminal 5. The New Orleans native is now so popular here that his shows have become something of a can’t-miss seasonal staple. Despite being extremely funky, Shorty and his excellent band, Orleans Avenue, often oscillate into the territory of jazz and soul during their performances. They aren’t afraid to embrace pop or rock either, and last night’s show featured renditions of Green Day’s “Brain Stew” and even Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’”—the latter being a cover you can only get away with if you have a crew that has as much fun onstage as this one did.
The focus, of course, is on Shorty himself. He’s been a stellar frontman for a while now, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t gotten better. It was fitting that the band took the stage to James Brown’s “Make it Funky” because Shorty increasingly shows more and more of the Godfather of Soul with each passing show. His stage presence was already great, but it’s becoming the stuff of legend, on a bother-your-friends-who-don’t-like-funk-until-they-see-him kind of level. Orleans Avenue are made up of five seriously impressive musicians, and their skills were often featured throughout the set.
When Shorty wasn’t tirelessly tearing up the stage on trombone or trumpet, he parked right next to whichever bandmate had a solo going. Like Hendrix appeared to be coaxing spirits from a burning guitar, Shorty swayed back and forth and waved his arms next to each musician, like he was trying to help him get every ounce of funk out of his veins. Like the inevitable changing of the seasons, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will be back again before you know it. And that next time he returns, tell everyone you know it’s a can’t-miss show. —Sean O’Kane | @Sokane1
Like many Louisiana Batistes before him, Jon Batiste is one hell of a musician. Growing up in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, he began performing with his family’s band, the Batiste Brothers Band—first on percussion and drums before moving on to the piano. Having since gotten a master’s degree from Julliard, he also happens to be a bit of a Renaissance man, serving as an artistic director at Harlem’s National Jazz Museum and being on the board at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (where he graduated alongside Trombone Shorty). But mostly, and rightly so, Batiste (above, performing “Express Yourself (Say Yes)”) is known for his jazz-influenced music as a pianist, singer, bandleader and composer. Along with Julliard pals Eddie Barabash (sax), Ibanda Ruhumbika (tuba) and Joe Saylor (drums), he released his debut album as Jon Batiste and Stay Human, the terrific jazz-, funk-, classical- and pop-tinged Social Music (stream it below), late last year. Relix says the four “are specialists in nonspecializing—they glide and slide easily from genre to genre, tempo to tempo, mood to mood.” And they’re sure to put you in a great mood on Saturday night at Webster Hall.
Tags: Eddie Barabash, Ibanda Ruhumbika, Joe Saylor, Jon Batiste, Julliard, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Preview, Stay Human, Trombone Shorty, Video, Webster Hall
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It’s already been quite a year for Trombone Shorty. The party-starting trombone virtuoso has performed at the 2013 Green Inaugural Ball, appeared in a documentary about Lenny Kravitz and, following in the footsteps of Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair and Fats Domino, he was featured on the 2013 commemorative souvenir envelope for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation—and Shorty topped all of that with the honor of closing out this year’s Jazz Fest. Of course, none of those things were in New York City, but tonight at SummerStage in Central Park, Trombone Shorty (above, doing “Do to Me” on Conan) headlines a fantastic lineup rounded out by soul-funk-fusion trio Soulive and NOLA (by way of Sweden) guitar god Anders Osborne. This is one not to miss. So don’t!
Trombone Shorty – Terminal 5 – December 8, 2012
Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has a reputation as an electric performer. And why shouldn’t he? Andrews hails from New Orleans, where his grandfather, Jesse Hill, played with such legends as Professor Longhair and Huey “Piano” Smith. His older brother, James Andrews, is an accomplished trumpet player who has gigged with the likes of Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie and Dr. John. Shorty, for his part, impressed at an early age. At six years old, he was leading his own band, and in his late teens and early twenties he had already performed with Lenny Kravitz, Green Day and U2. He’s also made cameos on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and, of course, HBO’s Treme, which chronicles post-Katrina New Orleans.
But a solid résumé means nothing without an equally solid performance, and Trombone Shorty blew this criterion out of the water on Saturday night at Terminal 5. From the very first note, Andrews and his band, Orleans Avenue, sounded tight, funky and heavy all at once. Each player throughout the night demonstrated his overwhelming chops. Pete Murano absolutely shredded on guitar, displaying an incredible proficiency within range of styles from funk to jazz to metal, and “Uncle” Dan Oestreicher shined on a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” Andrews, though, is a wizard onstage, audibly and visually. He switched with ease between trombone and trumpet, absolutely destroying every song in his path. He also made sure all eyes were on him, often throwing his arms in the air like Maximus in Gladiator. In truth, we were quite entertained.
It’s entirely clear that Andrews knows exactly what the crowd wants. He teased and covered eclectic songs like “Minnie the Moocher” and “I Got a Woman.” The band expertly weaved through a hip-hop medley of “Slow Motion,” “Shake Ya Ass,” “Let Me Clear My Throat” and “Give It Away” to choreographed stepping, complete with head whipping, which the crowd aptly mimicked. When the group was called back for an encore, they played New Orleans favorites “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Treme Song.” “Who dat!” he screamed as the New Orleans–tinged audience responded with their hometown’s unofficial cheer. On the very last tune, everyone switched instruments and played something ostensibly outside of their comfort zone: Andrews moved to drums, Murano blew a sax, bassist Mike Ballard picked up the trumpet and so on. It was as if they needed to prove to us that, without a doubt, they could do anything. That wasn’t necessary, though. They had already done more than enough to satisfy. —Alex Kapelman
Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com
Tags: Dan Oestreicher, Green Day, Jesse Hill, Lenny Kravitz, Mike Ballard, Pete Murano, Photos, Review, Terminal 5, Trombone Shorty, Troy Andrews, U2
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Tags: Allen Toussaint, Blind Boys of Alabama, Carnegie Hall, Del McCoury Band, Jim James, Michael Jurick, My Morning Jacket, Photos, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Steve Earle, Tao Seeger, Trey McIntyre Project, Trombone Shorty, Tune-Yards, Yasiin Bey
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Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, so you dust yourself off and get right back up again. That’s what happened when Hurricane Irene rained out the Dave Matthews Band Caravan originally planned for late August on Governors Island. But you can’t keep a good festival down, and so the Caravan is back—this time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Randall’s Island. And while the lineup has changed, the bands are still killer. Dave Matthews Band (above, doing “Crush” in Central Park) plays a full set each night, and they’re joined by Dispatch, SOJA and TR3 (featuring Tim Reynolds) on Friday, Dispatch, Warren Haynes and Brandi Carlile on Saturday, and From Good Homes, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, plus an acoustic performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, on Sunday. Not too shabby, right? Governors Island tickets will be valid for the corresponding date (e.g. Friday tickets valid for Friday only), and three-day passes will be valid for all three rescheduled dates. The weather looks great and as an added bonus for your patience, you can download a free split digital 7″ from the Dave Matthews Band and Dispatch here.
Tags: Brandi Carlile, Dispatch, DMB Caravan, From Good Homes, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, Preview, Randall’s Island, SOJA, Tim Reynolds, TR3, Trombone Shorty, Video, Warren Haynes
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Next weekend the Dave Matthews Band Caravan comes our way for three terrific music-filled days (and nights) at South Island Field at Governors Island. There’s a different lineup on each date, but Sunday’s is certainly no joke, with the Dave Matthews Band accompanied by the Roots, Gogol Bordello, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (above, playing “One Night Only (The March)” on Late Show with David Letterman), Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, ELEW and a set by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. And even better than all that, The House List is giving away two tickets. Fill out the form below to try to win them. Make sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (DMB Caravan, 8/28) and a brief message explaining why you deserve to win.
Tags: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band, DMB Caravan, ELEW, Gogol Bordello, Roots, South Island Field at Governors Island, Tim Reynolds, Trombone Shorty
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The NOLA-based instrumental-funk outfit Galactic has been bringing shake-your-hips music to the masses since 1994. They started out as an eight-piece with Theryl DeClouet (House Man) as their singer. Over the years, they’ve paired down to five and parted ways with DeClouet. But no doubt, they’re still bringing the funk: Witness last year’s Ya-Ka-May, with notable sit-ins from Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and the dynamic Trombone Shorty, whose own band opens the show. Of course, there will be plenty of other special guests, like Corey Glover, Corey Henry, Cyril Neville and the High and Mighty Brass Band. You never know what to expect from Galactic (above, playing “Heart of Steel” last year). They could just as easily bump a hip-hop groove, drop some smooth jazz or rip a terrific Zeppelin cover. See for yourself at Terminal 5 on Saturday. But make sure you act fast ’cause it looks like this one could sell out.
Technically, summer doesn’t start for almost three more weeks, but we’re already past Memorial Day, which means the summer season has begun. And there’s no better way to while away your warm-weather time than on the beach. You’re already pretty close to a beach—actually The Beach at Governors Island. Starting tonight, with Michael Franti & Spearhead, Trombone Shorty and One eskimO, get ready to spend those summer nights outside, your feet in the sand, taking in great music with lower Manhattan as the backdrop. We’ll be bringing you a full roster of fantastic live music (plenty of free shows too, starting with Yeasayer, Keepaway and Delicate Steve this Saturday) all summer long. For ferry information and answers to other questions, go here.