Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

May/June 2016: Kamasi Washington (Festival Edition)

Trombone Shorty: Knock-out Punch

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Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty, started playing in brass band parades when he was shorter than the trombone he carried—thus his name! At the age of thirteen, he was featured in Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Listen to a recording of that concert and you’ll clearly see that Andrews is a very talented young musician. He released his first album in 2002, when he was just sixteen. Trombone Shorty’s Swingin’ Gate is an interesting album, featuring tunes like Miles Davis’ “Four” and the traditional New Orleans piece “St James Infirmary,” along with a few of his own compositions—all with a funk style.

Trombone Shorty raises the bar for trombone playing, but his talents don’t stop with his trombone chops. In concerts and the recording studio, he plays trombone and trumpet with equal skill, and is also a great singer and composer. Trombone Shorty has always been a master at blending genres and styles. In his 2010 release Backatown, his New Orleans roots are evident, but his music is seamlessly blended with a hip hop style. You can hear hip hop, rock, and traditional New Orleans brass in his newer albums, For True (2011) and Say That To Say This (2013) too. His music truly is for dancing, with beats that can get anyone moving, and with memorable horn lines that seem to be pulled straight from New Orleans parades.

I heard Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue when they were here a few years back, so I know from experience that the show on June 25 at the Burt will be knock-out. Winnipeg’s own party band, The Dirty Catfish Brass Band, kicks things off!

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