New Orleans-based musician Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews was exposed to sounds of jazz, gospel and R&B from a very young age, mentored by some of the city’s greats, like Anthony “Tuba Fats” Lacen and singer-songwriter Danny Barker.
“I was nurtured to play music pretty much from birth,” says Andrews, who’s performed at the White House and is on tour with Daryl Hall & John Oates and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. “Without these people to inspire and motivate me to keep going, I almost certainly wouldn’t be doing this today.”
In 2013, to preserve the rich cultural legacy of New Orleans and inspire future generations of musicians who may not otherwise have access to instruments or a music education, Andrews established the Trombone Shorty Foundation. Serving more than 500 disadvantaged youth, the foundation sponsors two programs. The Trombone Shorty Academy provides budding high school musicians with mentorships and experience in musical performance ranging from lessons on traditional jazz to hip-hop to Mardi Gras Indian funk, while the Fredman Music Business Institute provides music industry leadership training to aspiring high school musicians.
“To be able to do what you truly love for a living is a gift,” Andrews says. “And I want to be able to support and help guide these young students in the same way the older cats did for me when I started playing. We have an important legacy here to pass on.”