Trombone Shorty

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Trombone Shorty
Satchmo SummerFest, August 2007
Troy Andrews

(1986-01-02) January 2, 1986 (age 37)
  • Musician
  • producer
  • philanthropist
FamilyJames Andrews Jr. (brother)
Jessie Hill (grandfather)
Musical career
  • Trombone
  • trumpet
  • vocals

Troy Andrews (born January 2, 1986), also known by the stage name Trombone Shorty, is an American musician, producer, and philanthropist from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is best known as a trombone and trumpet player but also plays drums, organ, and tuba. He has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, pop, jazz, funk, and hip hop. Andrews is the younger brother of trumpeter and bandleader James Andrews III and the grandson of singer and songwriter Jessie Hill.[1] Andrews began playing trombone at age four, and since 2009 has toured with his own band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

Life and career[edit]

Trombone Shorty at age five, with the Carlsberg Brass Band, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, 1991

Andrews was born to James Andrews Jr. and Lois Andrews in New Orleans and grew up in the culturally vibrant Tremé neighborhood, steeped in New Orleans jazz, R&B and music-related traditions such as second line parades.[2] Andrews' family have deep roots in the music scene of New Orleans - his grandfather was musician Jessie Hill, his great-uncle Walter "Papoose" Nelson played with Fats Domino,[1][3] and Andrews' mother Lois Nelson Andrews was a regular grand marshal of jazz funerals and second-line parades in New Orleans, where she routinely encouraged young musicians and was known as the "Mother of Music" and "Queen of the Tremé".[1][4] Andrews' father James Andrews Jr., a member of the Bayou Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Club, would frequently invite musician friends to visit their home.[2] Other musical family members include his brother James Andrews III and cousins Glen David Andrews and the late Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill.[5][6]

At the age of four, Andrews started playing a trombone given to him by his brother James "because the family already had a trumpet player".[7] Bo Diddley heard the four-year-old Andrews playing and invited him on stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.[8] He participated in brass band parades as a child, becoming a band leader by the age of six. In his teens, he was a member of the Stooges Brass Band.[9] Andrews' parents opened a nightclub in Tremé called Trombone Shorty's, where he would play on occasion as a child, as well as a jam space for musicians called "The Space".[1][2] Andrews attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) along with fellow musician Jon Batiste.[10] Since his youth, Andrews has been mentored by Cyril Neville, whom he calls "a second father".[11][12] Andrews graduated in 2004 from Warren Easton High School.[13]

In 2005, Andrews was a featured member of Lenny Kravitz's horn section in a world tour that shared billing with acts including Aerosmith. Andrews was part of the New Orleans Social Club, a group formed after Hurricane Katrina to record a benefit album. He was featured guest on "Hey Troy, Your Mama's Calling You," a tribute to "Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Calling You" a Latin jazz song by the Jimmy Castor Bunch in 1966.

Andrews is interviewed on screen and appears in performance footage in the 2005 documentary film Make It Funky!, which presents a history of New Orleans music and its influence on rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk and jazz.[14] In the film, he performed with Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield on "Skokiaan", and was a guest performer with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on "My Feet Can't Fail Me Now" as well as a guest performer with Big Sam's Funky Nation on "Bah Duey Duey".[15]

Andrews performed on "Where Y'At" as part of the Sixth Ward All-Star Brass Band Revue featuring Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers.

In London, during the summer of 2006, Andrews began working with producer Bob Ezrin and U2 at Abbey Road Studios. This association led to Andrews performing with U2 and Green Day during the re-opening of the New Orleans Superdome for the Monday Night Football pre-game show.[16]

At the end of 2006, Andrews appeared on the NBC television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.[17] Leading a group of New Orleans musicians, he performed the holiday classic "O Holy Night". NBC released the single as a free download.

In 2007, he accepted an invitation to contribute to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino[18] on the track "Whole Lotta Lovin" along with Rebirth Brass Band, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and Lenny Kravitz.

Between 2010 and 2013, Andrews appeared in seven episodes of the HBO series Treme.[19]

In 2010, Andrews released the Ben Ellman produced Backatown (Verve Forecast), which hit Billboard magazine's Contemporary Jazz Chart at No. 1 and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue toured across Australia, North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil, as well as supported shows for Jeff Beck in the U.K. and Dave Matthews Band in the U.S. They performed on television shows including Conan, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits. He also recorded on CDs from Galactic, Eric Clapton, and Lenny Kravitz and on the Academy Award nominated song "Down In New Orleans" with Dr. John. In December 2010, Andrews curated a two-night Red Hot+New Orleans performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to raise money for the New Orleans NO/AIDS Task Force.[20]

In September 2011, Andrews released the album For True as a follow up to his earlier album Backatown. Along with all the members of his band, Orleans Avenue, this record includes appearances by the Rebirth Brass Band, Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Stanton Moore, Kid Rock, Ben Ellman and Lenny Kravitz as a returning guest artist.[21] On January 8, 2012, Andrews performed the National Anthem before the start of the NFL playoff game between the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons. Soul Rebels Brass Band invited Andrews to special guest on their Rounder Records debut record, Unlock Your Mind, released on January 31, 2012. On March 31, 2012, Andrews' single "Do To Me" was featured before both semi-final games of the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament on CBS.

On February 21, 2012, Andrews performed at The White House as part of the Black History Month celebration, In Performance at the White House: Red, White & Blues, which premiered on PBS on February 27, 2012. The event featured performances from B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Keb' Mo', Mick Jagger, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks and more. Earlier that day, Andrews also participated in a special education program at The White House with Michelle Obama, Keb' Mo' and Shemekia Copeland.

On January 24, 2014, Andrews performed at MusiCares alongside Steven Tyler and LeAnn Rimes. On January 26, 2014, Andrews performed at the 56th Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. He performed with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Madonna and Queen Latifah in a version of Macklemore's "Same Love". On February 16, 2014, Andrews and Orleans Avenue led the performance at halftime of the NBA Allstar Game, which was held at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, with Andrews also acting as music director for the entire segment. Leading off with his own song "Do To Me", Andrews then brought out his invited guests to join him on stage – Dr. John, Janelle Monáe, Gary Clark Jr. and Earth, Wind & Fire.

In May 2014, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters traveled to New Orleans to tape their upcoming HBO series, Sonic Highways. After interviewing Andrews for the show, Dave invited Shorty to sit in with the Foo Fighters during their unannounced performance that night at Preservation Hall. That led to a friendship that has seen Shorty sit in with the Foo Fighters at their performances at Voodoo Festival in New Orleans, Dave Grohl's Birthday Bash at the Forum in Los Angeles and at the William Morris retreat at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, California.

Also in May 2014, Andrews recorded with Mark Ronson for his album Uptown Special which reached Number 5 on the US Billboard 200. Andrews also suggested to Ronson that he should contact Mystikal to perform on the album and passed along Mystikal's phone number. That collaboration led to the single "Feel Right." At the end of 2014, Andrews recorded the theme song for the remake of the Odd Couple, which premiered on CBS in February 2015. In 2015, Andrews made his feature film debut, recording the voice of the teacher Miss Othmar and the other adults in the Peanuts Movie.

Andrews performed twice for President Obama at the White House in 2015. The first time was October 14 where he performed "Fiya on the Bayou" and also performed with Usher and Queen Latifah. The second time was December 3 for the National Christmas Tree Lighting where he performed "Jingle Bells" alongside Crosby, Stills and Nash, Aloe Blacc and Reese Witherspoon. In November 2015, Andrews and Orleans Avenue toured Europe with Foo Fighters. He performed "Stay All Night" with Little Big Town at the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards.

During the summer of 2016, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue were a supporting act for the Hall & Oates tour.

On September 19, 2016, it was announced that Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue would appear as the opening act for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the North American leg of their 2017 The Getaway World Tour.[22]

On February 1, 2017, Blue Note Records announced that the label had signed Trombone Shorty.[23] His Blue Note debut, Parking Lot Symphony, was released on April 28, 2017, the first day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

In 2020, Trombone Shorty appeared as a guest on the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip marathon fundraiser episode of The George Lucas Talk Show.

He often performs at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.[24]

The Trombone Shorty Foundation[edit]

Andrews has frequently spoken of the New Orleans tradition of handing down its musical heritage.[25] He has often expressed his gratitude to those who mentored him – including his brother James, Cyril Neville, Wynton Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Allen Toussaint and Lenny Kravitz – along with his desire to pass on this legacy of mentorship and make a positive contribution to the lives of others in a similar situation to that which he grew up in.[11][12][13][26] The Trombone Shorty Foundation evolved from Andrews' Horns For Schools Project, a collaboration with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, which helped schools across New Orleans receive quality instruments donated by Andrews personally. The Foundation's mission is "to preserve and perpetuate the musical heritage of a city where music is everything."[27] In December 2012, the Foundation partnered with Tulane University to create an After School Academy to mentor aspiring, high school musicians in the New Orleans area.

Personal life[edit]

Andrews is one of seven children of James Andrews Jr. and Lois Nelson Andrews, daughter of Jessie Hill. Andrews' brother Darnell, also a talented trombone player, was shot and killed in 1995.[28] Following that tragedy and fearing for his talented younger brother's prospects in an increasingly violent neighbourhood and with a grieving mother, James Andrews III left his brother in the care of his manager and friend, late business woman Susan Lovejoy Scott. From a wealthy, prominent family, Lovejoy Scott acted in loco parentis, managing and mentoring Andrews as a young musician through to his tenure at NOCCA.[29] Her stewardship is credited with Andrews' exposure, groundedness and professionalism that kept him from the same pitfalls as many of his talented Tremé contemporaries.[30] Andrews has a teenage son, Hasaan "Too" Goffner, with Lady Buckjumper Social and Pleasure Club personality Shalanda Goffner Adams. Andrews has lived in New Orleans all his life, growing up in the Tremé and Filimore neighborhoods and now living in Audubon.


As leader[edit]

  • Trombone Shorty's Swingin' Gate (Louisiana Red Hot, 2002)
  • The End of the Beginning (Tremé, 2005)
  • Orleans & Claiborne (Tremé, 2005)
  • Live at New Orleans Jazz Fest (MunckMix, 2004)
  • Jazzfest Live 2006 (MunckMix, 2006)
  • Live at Jazz Fest 2007 (MunckMix, 2008)
  • Live at Jazz Fest 2008 (MunckMix, 2008)
  • Backatown (Verve Forecast, 2010)
  • For True (Verve Forecast, 2011)
  • Say That to Say This (Verve, 2013)[31]
  • Parking Lot Symphony (Blue Note, 2017)
  • Lifted (Blue Note, 2022)

With others

  • It's About Time, 2003 (as part of the Stooges Brass Band)
  • 12 & Shorty, Keep Swingin', 2004 (by James & Troy Andrews)
  • Trombone Shorty Meets Lionel Ferbos (by Trombone Shorty & Lionel Ferbos)

As sideman[edit]

Filmography and TV appearances[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

In early 2007, New Orleans music magazine Offbeat named Andrews their Performer of the Year.[34] He also garnered honors as Best Contemporary Jazz Performer.[34]

In 2010, Trombone Shorty's album Backatown was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.[35]

On May 19, 2012, Andrews received the President's Medal from Tulane University President Scott Cowen at the university's Unified Commencement Ceremony at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, in recognition of his community service work with the Horns for Schools Project. He thrilled the graduates and visitors by playing the trombone and singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" along with Dr. Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band at the ceremony.[citation needed][36]

In 2016, Andrews received the 21st Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities category, valued at $250,000,[37] "for his achievements as a musician and for his community work to preserve and pass on to younger generations the rich musical heritage of his native New Orleans".[38]

Andrews' autobiography for young readers (titled Trombone Shorty), illustrated by Bryan Collier, was named as a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book. The award is given to the illustrator by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).[39] The book also garnered for Collier the Coretta Scott King Award[40] from the ALA's Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table.

In May 2018, Trombone Shorty won a Blues Music Award in the Blues Instrumentalist: Horn category.[41][42]

In 2022, Andrews won his first Grammy for his work on Jon Batiste's We Are as a featured artist.[43]


  • Andrews, Troy (2015). Trombone Shorty. illustrated by Bryan Collier. New York, NY: Abrams Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-1-4197-1465-8. OCLC 880349715.
  • Andrews, Troy; Taylor, Bill (2018). The 5 O'Clock Band. illustrated by Bryan Collier. New York, NY: Abrams Books for Young Readers. ISBN 9781419728365. OCLC 1000582995.


  1. ^ a b c d Reckdahl, Katy (November 11, 2021). "Lois Nelson Andrews, cultural icon who helped revive baby dolls tradition, dies at 69". Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews". Music Rising ~ The Musical Cultures of the Gulf South. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  3. ^ "Lois Andrews, a mainstay of New Orleans music scene, dies". AP NEWS. November 20, 2021. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  4. ^ "Jazz funeral planned for "Mother of Music" Lois Andrews". OffBeat Magazine. November 17, 2021. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  5. ^ "Glen David Andrews, renowned trombonist, pleads guilty to domestic violence incidents". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. November 15, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  6. ^ Fensterstock, Alison (May 5, 2015). "Travis 'Trumpet Black' Hill, rising New Orleans trumpeter, has died at 28". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  7. ^ Morrow, Emily (September 1, 2020). "Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews". 90.5 WICN Public Radio. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  8. ^ Bahn, Jenny (September 5, 2017). "Bo Pulled Shorty on Stage". Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  9. ^ "Stooges Brass Band". Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Paumgarten, Nick (January 27, 2014). "Reunion". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Greenberg, Rudi (August 15, 2018). "New Orleans' Trombone Shorty hits the road with the musicians who showed him the way". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Nerl, Daryl (August 1, 2018). "Why Trombone Shorty, returning to Musikfest, 'will never forget' Bethlehem". The Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Scott, Mike (October 6, 2015). "Trombone Shorty gives Warren Easton students something to dance about". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  14. ^ "IAJE What's Going On". Jazz Education Journal. Manhattan, Kansas: International Association of Jazz Educators. 37 (5): 87. April 2005. ISSN 1540-2886. ProQuest 1370090.
  15. ^ Make It Funky! (DVD). Culver City, California: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005. ISBN 9781404991583. OCLC 61207781. 11952.
  16. ^ Gundersen, Edna (September 14, 2006). "U2 to play Superdome". USA Today.
  17. ^ "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip The Christmas Show (2006) - Full cast and crew". Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  18. ^ A tribute album commemorating the return of Fats Domino to New Orleans. Domino had been rescued from the city, immediately following the city's devastation from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Domino had initially been feared dead, since he did not leave New Orleans prior to the landing of the hurricane.
  19. ^ "Trombone Shorty Filmography". IMDb. 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Parales, Jon (December 5, 2010). "Trombone Shorty brings New Orleans sounds to BAM". The New York Times.
  21. ^ DeRiso, Nick (September 13, 2011). "Trombone Shorty - For True (2011)". Something Else!. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  22. ^ "2017 North American Tour". Red Hot Chili Peppers. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  23. ^ "Trombone Shorty signs with Blue Note; new album out in April". Blue Note Records. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  24. ^ "BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue". Prospect Park Alliance. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  25. ^ "About Us – Trombone Shorty Foundation". Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  26. ^ Spera, Keith (June 29, 2017). "Now that his Trombone Shorty Academy has moved to Treme, Troy Andrews has come full circle". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  27. ^ "Trombone Shorty Foundation – New Orleans Music – A Way of Life". Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  28. ^ SPERA, KEITH. "Now that his Trombone Shorty Academy has moved to Treme, Troy Andrews has come full circle". Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  29. ^ "Susan Lovejoy Scott Obituary (2007) The Times-Picayune". Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  30. ^ "Trombone Shorty: NOLA's Soul Man". Garden & Gun. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  31. ^ "Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  32. ^ Performing on "Whole Lotta Lovin'" with Lenny Kravitz, the Rebirth Brass Band, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker.
  33. ^ "New Orleans, LA - May 1, 2010". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  34. ^ a b "And the Winners Are..." OffBeat. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  35. ^ "Artist: Trombone Shorty". Recording Academy. 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  36. ^ Photos: Commencement moments. (May 21, 2012). Tulane News.
  37. ^ Mandak, Joe (September 14, 2016). "'Trombone Shorty,' 4 others receive $250,000 Heinz Awards". AP News. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  38. ^ "The Heinz Awards: Troy Andrews". 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  39. ^ "2016 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books". American Library Association. 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  40. ^ Dreilinger, Danielle (January 11, 2016). "Trombone Shorty book wins two national awards". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, LA. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  41. ^ Greene, Alex (May 13, 2018). "The 39th Annual Blues Music Awards: Winners Both Global & Local". Memphis Flyer. Memphis, TN. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  42. ^ "Award Winners and Nominees [search]". The Blues Foundation. 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  43. ^ "Trombone Shorty". GRAMMYs. Retrieved April 4, 2022.

External links[edit]