March 11, 2013

Glory Road: Trombone Shorty


Announcer voice: Trombone Shorty!

Shelby: Horn blowing jazz musician Troy Andrews may never outgrow his childhood nickname. Twenty years ago, he was dubbed “Trombone Shorty,” a young musician who led jazz parades at five years old with an instrument twice his size.

Troy Andrews: Well, I started playing music because of my family – a musical family. I think if I didn’t play, I would have been, like, the outcast of the family.

Shelby: Troy grew up in a rough New Orleans neighborhood. When he was just ten, his older brother was murdered. That is when members of his community decided Troy wouldn’t be left behind to meet a similar fate. They enrolled him into prestigious music schools, mentored him and kept him focused.

Troy: I’ve had great people and great musicians that taught me throughout my whole life. Even today, I still have great teachers that help me out. And it’s just a tradition that we do in New Orleans.

Shelby: Now 27, Troy performs 200 nights a year, was nominated for a Grammy…

Announcer voice: Trombone Shorty!

Shelby: …And has an acting gig on HBO’s Treme.

And now it is Troy’s turn to give back to the community that helped him.

Troy: Just give me a bahhh.

Shelby: These young musicians were selected to be a part of the new Trombone Shorty Academy.

Troy: I feel it in my heart that I needed to do this for the kids. I have a lot of kids that look up to me that play instruments that I didn’t even know, you know.

Shelby: The Trombone Shorty Academy is funded by donations and a partnership with Tulane University. It gives young musicians hands-on music training and career guidance.

Troy: I just want to let them know that it’s cool to go out and play a trombone and play rock music or hip-hop music, and just help save the music of New Orleans and see where these kids take it in the next twenty or thirty years.

Shelby: Musical success is a goal for many of the students, but they also know that music is more than high hats and big brass.

So, has music sort of opened doors for you, as far as education goes?

Revon Andrews: Music opened up doors for me because if you know how to do math real good, you know how to count music. And actually today, I found out I’m doing math on the twelfth grade level and I’m reading on the eleventh, but I’m only in ninth.

Shelby: The Trombone Shorty Foundation is just getting started but it is growing quickly.

Troy: And it’s my responsibility to do that – to help the kids and make sure that they don’t get caught up, because music can be some people’s passport. And it’s been my passport to see the world. And the kids that are here today are the ones that really want it and they’re going to take it forward.

Shelby: For the students, Troy’s story is motivation to practice for perfection.

Jazz Henry: He’s an inspiration to a lot of people. For other people to see him starting out at a young age, they might think that they can do the same and stick with it.

Revon: I’m hoping to be a professional musician. I hope to take it up to as high as Troy got his band.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>