Troy Andrews (born January 2, 1986), also known by the stage name Trombone Shorty, is an American musician, producer, actor and philanthropist from New Orleans. A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known as a trombone and trumpet player but also performs and records on the drums, organ and tuba.
A highly sought after musician for his unique style and approach, he has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, pop, jazz, funk, hip hop and EDM. Andrews is the younger brother of trumpeter and bandleader James Andrews as well as the grandson of singer and songwriter Jessie Hill. He began playing trombone at age four, and since 2009 has toured with his own band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.
Andrews was born in New Orleans. He grew up in its Tremé neighborhood, and participated in brass band parades as a child, becoming a bandleader by the age of six. In his teens, he was a member of the Stooges Brass Band, recording and playing with the band. He attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). In 2005, Andrews was a featured member of Lenny Kravitz’s horn section in a world tour that shared billing with acts including Aerosmith.
Six weeks after the levees failed in New Orleans on August 29, 2005, some of the city’s greatest musicians went to Austin, Texas, to record a benefit CD called ‘Sing Me Back Home’ at Wire Studios with producers Leo Sacks and Ray Bardani. With their lives in transition, the collective became known as ‘The New Orleans Social Club.’ Andrews was the featured guest on ‘Hey Troy, Your Mama’s Calling You,’ a tribute to ‘Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Calling You’ which was a Latin-jazz-soul hit for the Jimmy Castor Bunch on Smash Records in 1966. Andrews also performed on ‘Where Y’At’ as part of ‘The Sixth Ward All-Star Brass Band Revue’ featuring Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers.
In London, during the summer of 2006, Andrews began working with producer Bob Ezrin and U2 at Abbey Road Studios. This association led to Andrews performing with U2 and Green Day during the re-opening of the New Orleans Superdome for the NFL’s ‘Monday Night Football’ pre-game show. At the end of 2006, Andrews appeared on the NBC television series ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.’ Leading a group of New Orleans musicians, he performed the holiday classic ‘O Holy Night.’
In 2010, Andrews has was cast in the HBO series ‘Treme’ and appeared in six episodes. Also that year he released the Ben Ellman produced ‘Backatown,’ which hit Billboard magazine’s Contemporary Jazz Chart at No. 1 and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue toured across Australia, North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil, as well as supported shows for Jeff Beck in the U.K. and Dave Matthews Band in the U.S.
In September 2011, Andrews released the album ‘For True’ as a follow up to ‘Backatown.’ Along with all the members of his band, Orleans Avenue, this record includes appearances by the Rebirth Brass Band, Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Stanton Moore, Kid Rock, Ben Ellman and Lenny Kravitz as a returning guest artist.
In 2014, Andrews performed at the 56th Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. He performed with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Madonna and Queen Latifah in a version of Macklemore’s ‘Same Love.’ In May 2014, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters traveled to New Orleans to tape their upcoming HBO series, ‘Sonic Highways.’ After interviewing Andrews for the show, Dave invited Shorty to sit in with the Foo Fighters during their unannounced performance that night at Preservation Hall. That led to a friendship that has seen Shorty sit in with the Foo Fighters at their performances at Voodoo Festival in New Orleans, Dave Grohl’s Birthday Bash at the Forum in Los Angeles and at the William Morris retreat at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, California.
Also in May 2014, Andrews recorded with Mark Ronson for his album ‘Uptown Special’ which reached Number 5 on the US Billboard 200. Andrews also suggested to Ronson that he should contact Mystikal to perform on the album and passed along Mystikal’s phone number. That collaboration led to the single ‘Feel Right.’ In 2015, Andrews made his feature film debut, recording the voice of the teacher Miss Othmar and the other adults in the ‘Peanuts Movie.’
The Trombone Shorty Foundation evolved from Andrews’ Horns For Schools Project, a collaboration with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, which helped schools across New Orleans receive quality instruments donated by Andrews personally. The Foundation’s mission is ‘to preserve and perpetuate the unique musical culture of New Orleans by passing down its traditions to future generations of musicians.’ In December 2012, the Foundation partnered with Tulane University to create an After School Academy to mentor aspiring, high school musicians in the New Orleans Area.