Trombone Shorty to spice up PeristyleWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On a rare day off on tour, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews knew what he wanted to do: slide behind the piano.
“We do 200-plus dates a year, so whenever I get a chance, I try to practice the piano a bit,” he said during a call from St. Louis.
While the talented musician also sings and plays several instruments, he’s known for packing brass in both hands when he takes the stage. The trombonist and trumpeter has won fans with his bold, exuberant playing and tours with Lenny Kravitz, Jeff Beck and the Dave Matthews Band.
And he’s got the cache to back up that flash.
Released Sept. 13, “For True” by Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album Chart while his 2010 disc, “Backatown,” was still in the top 10.
“I’m always surprised and very blessed and honored that people are reacting the way they are to my music and me,” Andrews said. “Being on the charts, I never even dreamed about anything like that. I just always thought about playing music. So to be on the charts and do well is just a plus.”
“For True” features guest appearances by Kravitz, Beck, Kid Rock and Ledisi, and opens with a powerhouse called “Buckjump.”
“ ‘Buckjump’ is just basically a collaboration between two worlds of New Orleans music,” Andrews said. “We have one of the great bounce rappers in New Orleans, 5th Ward Weebie, helping us with vocals, and the world-famous Rebirth Brass Band on top of my band, and it was just one of those things, taking the New Orleans music and putting it all in one pot.”
The 25-year-old songwriter is all about cooking with dashes of musical genres thrown in.
He calls it “superfunkrock.”
“It’s basically like a musical gumbo. You might hear different influences of all styles of music,” he said. “Growing up in New Orleans, I spent a lot of time with The Neville Brothers, and playing different styles of music, and Dr. John, and it’s just the influences of my childhood and what we’re experiencing at this moment.”
As a kid, Andrews received more than his nickname from his older brother.
“My brother, James Andrews, is the one who’s really responsible for me playing,” he said. “By the time I was 7, he had me touring around the world, so I got a lot of real-life experiences right on the spot, growing up and being able to play with him in Europe and Haiti, Cuba, Saudi Arabia — he took me all over as a kid — and I was able to experience and learn firsthand from him and my cousins.”
The horn player is still blown away by the power of music.
“I know some of the places we go around the world, I don’t think they really understand what I’m singing or saying, but music in itself makes them feel good,” he said. “The influence of music on everyday life is a beautiful thing. I couldn’t imagine a world without music. It’s a universal language with a healing power; it picks people up.”
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will play at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. Tickets are $27.50, $45 and $75 for the concert, which is sponsored by the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Society.