One of the most influential New Orleanian musicians of the 21st Century, Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews, has crafted a distinctive and powerful musical style that incorporates elements of traditional brass-band, rock, and R&B. His music, often performed with his stage band The Orleans Avenue, has a remarkable ability to use distinctly New Orleanian musical styles with a modern edge; it transcends the tropes of what one would think of as traditional “New Orleans music”. The versatility of his songs is apparent in his numerous accomplishments, including: a Grammy nomination for his 2010 album “Backatown”, a 2012 performance at the White House, and a Blues Music Award in 2018. At a time when many locals are celebrating the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Trombone Shorty’s annual Tremé Threauxdown was another amazing event highlighting offerings from contemporary artists across Louisiana and beyond.
The atmosphere at the concert going in was upbeat and casual, with the audience filtering in to performances by Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The intro music blended contemporary rock with elements of R&B and country through a really great synergy between the bass and guitar. The musicians, many of whom were Randolph’s cousins and family members, were able to switch instruments between songs with ease, the vocals often being self-accompanied by tambourine, maraca, or hand percussion.
After the openings and a brief intermission, the main performance of Trombone Shorty began. Coming off of Shorty’s national tour and performances during Jazz Fest, Shorty thundered in with an exclamation that he was happy to be back in his hometown (and given the applause, the town was happy to have him too)! Shorty’s logo behind him and the intense light display made for an electrified atmosphere. Hearing Shorty’s music on an album is one thing, but the live atmosphere really brought out the energy of each song. Given the relative underutilization of brass instruments in rock settings, Andrews’ usage of trombone and trumpet at the forefront of the event highlighted those instruments’ utility. Other common instruments throughout the event included electric guitar, bass, and keyboard.
The musical lineup included many of Shorty’s songs from Backatown such as “Where Y’At,” while also featuring other mainstays of jazz and R&B. Guest artists included Kenner-native Jon Batiste (who’s made a name for himself as the musical director for The Late Show), Lafayette’s two-time 2019 Grammy winner Lauren Daigle, and Philadelphia hip-hop sensation G. Love. Shorty finished off the evening with a great performance of “Hurricane Season,” another Backatown staple and one of his best instrumental compositions.
A lot of concerts end with the audience getting up from their seats to leave, but the Tremé Threauxdown ended with people getting up to dance to the beat. Andrews’s distinct jam band style hallmarked the event across multiple genres with local and national favorites.
More of Trombone Shorty’s music can be heard on Spotify.The Crescent would like to thank the Saenger Theater and Livenation for their coverage accommodations.
Cover Photo: Relix.com