Trombone Shorty is the stage name of Troy Andrews, one that makes sense when you see pictures of him as a four-year old playing the trombone.
With that early start, he has had a long career already at 31, with a lot of backing and session work. I recently got to see him as himself, opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The show was a party, perhaps reflecting his New Orleans jazz roots. The backing band had two saxophones, including one baritone - something that I haven't seen for a while - and they all worked together well. Little details added to the sense of fun, like a pair of red sneakers working their way across the stage (not on Andrews himself) or the laughs between the band members. When they are having a good time, it spreads to the audience.
Speaking of the audience, I was pleased to see that they seemed to recognize and respond to many of the numbers; not all opening bands get that.
A new album, Parking Lot Symphony, will be available on April 28th, but for now a look at Trombone Shorty's own discography will show team-ups with Ledisi, Jeff Beck, and Lenny Kravitz, among others. If you look for him appearing on other people's albums, you will be finding new names for a while.
But as much as he is helpful to other musicians, and able to build a career solely on that, Trombone Shorty is great at center stage. Watch him funk it up if you get a chance.