Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty was born into music. His grandfather was a popular New Orleans R&B musician and his older brother was a successful jazz trumpeter. Andrews took to music early, appearing professionally for the first time as a five year old. Initially learning trombone, trumpet and drums he focused on trombone and collected the nickname “Trombone Shorty”.
Troy continued his musical education at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts’ (NOCCA) musical education program for high school students; other graduates included Harry Connick, Jr., Nicholas Payton, and Wynton and Branford Marsalis. A 2003 PBS documentary featured Andrews along with four other students and he was included in the networks’ tribute to Louis Armstrong.
After appearing on numerous New Orleans centered collections, Trombone Shorty had his first solo release in 2010.
Trombone Shorty has an impressive list of featured performances, appearing at the White House as part of a Black History month celebration, playing at the Grammys and appearing on the Foo Fighters HBO series Sonic Highways.
In addition to his music, Andrews won a Caldecott Award for his autobiography for young readers released in 2016.
Describing his interest in stretching beyond the typical New Orleans musical styles, Trombone Shorty had this to say: “I had friends who relied too much on natural ability, which can only take you so far. And I’ve got friends that became too much technicians and don’t know how to shut that off,” he says. “My goal from a very young age was to maintain where I came from, but enhance it and learn.” As longtime New Orleans food writer Brett Anderson puts it, “Whatever the It of New Orleans music is, Trombone Shorty was practically built in a laboratory to carry it forward.”