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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Brings Funky Rock Sound to Pepperdine
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, whose fan base has grown exponentially since the release of their Grammy-nominated 2010 debut album, Backatown, stop at Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, as part of their current "For True Tour."
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue's latest album, For True, offers substantive proof of their explosive growth, further refining the signature sound Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has dubbed "Supafunkrock."
"There was excitement from everywhere," says Andrews of the experience on the road and how it fed into the creation of For True. "We did over 200 shows in the last year and a half, and every night we allowed the music to take us over. Musically and creatively, we wanted to shoot for some different things."
The band—Mike Ballard on bass, Pete Murano on guitar, Joey Peebles on drums, Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax, and Tim McFatter on tenor sax—stirs together old-school jazz, funk, and soul, laced with hard-rock power chords and hip-hop beats, and they have added some tangy new ingredients on For True as they keep pushing the envelope, exploring new musical territory.
Since Backatown's release, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have toured nonstop in North America, the U.K., Brazil, Japan, Europe, and Australia. In December of 2010, Andrews drew accolades as musical director of "Red Hot + New Orleans" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The sensational two-night run inspired New York Times senior music critic Jon Pareles to assert, "Trombone Shorty had clearly set out to present New Orleans as a city whose glory days aren't over...it was a signal that the city's music would push ahead."
Andrews hails from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans' 6th Ward, getting his nickname at four years old when he was observed by his older brother James marching in a street parade and wielding a trombone twice as long as the kid was high. Andrews started early, learning how to play drums and what he remembers as "the world's smallest trumpet" at the age of three. By the time he reached six, this prodigy was playing trumpet and trombone in a jazz band led by his brother James, himself a trumpet player of local renown who has been called "Satchmo of the Ghetto."
Not long afterward, Andrews formed his own band with some other musically inclined kids from Tremé, and they became regulars at Jackson Square, with dreams of following in the footsteps of his brother James and the Rebirth Brass Band, learning and carrying on the New Orleans tradition. While not only carrying on that tradition and expanding its boundaries, Andrews has also lent a generous helping hand to the next generation, having given longstanding support to the city's renowned Roots of Music program.
Andrews was also recently honored by being named the youngest member of the NOCCA Foundation board--the foundation behind New Orleans' Center for the Creative Arts where Andrews and several of his band members studied and began collaborating. He is also gearing up his own new foundation aimed at making sure that talented younger players with limited resources can get quality instruments to play. Watch for much more news on that front, as well as a new CD, currently planned for an April 2013 release.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts Web site.