Quarantine Gumbo YaYa Episode 2 Features Trombone Shorty

With more public spaces being closed in our state (Washington), the one safe public space is our airwaves. Unfortunately, access to the air studio is still restricted to paid employees so this week is another ENCORE PERFORMANCE!

You can click the arrow in the box above and the music will play while you read the rest of this. This is a repeat of my first show of 2020 which was a celebration of Troy Andrews’ 34th birthday — a millennial musician, singer, songwriter and children’s book author who has been able to amass a considerable play list that represents the past, present and, I hope, the future of New Orleans music.

Today it’s all about Trombone Shorty on Sweeney’s Gumbo YaYa. His act includes the name “Orleans Avenue Band” which refers to a street in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans where he grew up. And while he tours the world, his act always embodies a healthy dose of his hometown.

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Trombone Shorty with his band Orleans Avenue closing out the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — an annual tradition. (Photo by Tim Sweeney)

According to the Trombone Shorty website, Andrews got his nickname when he picked up his instrument at four. His older brother, noted trumpeter James Andrews, gave him the tag. “My parents pushed me toward trombone because they didn’t need another trumpet player.”

The moment was memorialized in a legendary 1990 photo (with a great story to go with it) from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Bo Diddley was performing on stage when the crowd deposited before him a four-year-old boy barely hanging on to a trombone. When Trombone Shorty blew his horn on that stage with Diddley’s mouth agape, it was tantamount to King Arthur pulling a sword out of a stone in terms of creating a New Orleans music legend.

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Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews (Photo by Tim Sweeney)

On today’s show, you’ll only hear three songs directly attributed to Troy Andrews — which is the limit that federal law places on me when I stream a show. However, every song you’ll hear until the last one is a song in which he performs. This means the show includes Dr. John, Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Allen Toussaint, Lenny Kravitz, Mindi Abair, Rebirth Brass Band, Los Hombres Calientes, The Soul Rebels, Hot 8 Brass Band, Stanton Moore, Lakou Mizik and the To Be Continued Brass Band. As well as his own band Orleans Avenue.

Andrews has not forgotten his community now that he’s an international star. He founded the Trombone Shorty Foundation which provides professional support to budding musicians in New Orleans and he’s the author of two children’s books that details stories from his childhood. The self-titled first book tells the story of how he got his nickname and received a Caldecott Honor Book award.

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