Making Noise

Trombone Shorty Answers Our Questions Ahead of Tuesday’s ‘Party’

"If you could imagine Mardi Gras for 90 minutes phonically, then that’s what we do."

By Laura Furr Mericas September 18, 2017

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Trombone Shorty will perform at the Houston House of Blues on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Since starting his musical career at the age of 4—learning from the likes of his grandfather R&B legend Jessie Hill and playing with his brothers at music festivals around the world—Troy Andrews (a.k.a. Trombone Shorty) has pretty much run the gamut in terms of musical achievements.

His soulful fusion of funk, R&B, hip hop and rock has allowed the 31-year-old New Orleans native to “play his horn” and “make noise” with the likes of Prince, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King and Lenny Kravitz. The last time he was at the Houston House of Blues he shared his stage with Paul Wall and Slim Thug. He has played for the Obamas on multiple occasions and was nominated for a Grammy for his first solo album, “Backatown,” in 2010. And on Tuesday, Sept. 19, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will be bringing their spirited sounds to Houston as part of the “Parking Lot Symphony” tour.  

We talked with Shorty, who plays about 10 times more instruments than his name suggests, about his ties to the Bayou City and what we can expect from his Fat Tuesday concert at the House of Blues.

How would you describe your style of music?

I would say it’s the style of New Orleans music where there’s a lot of rock, funk, hip hop, and R&B. It’s just a big gumbo, you know. If anything, it’s very high energy and it’s just feel good. It’s full of joy and that’s what we’re trying to do.

What should Houstonians expect from your concert Tuesday?

It’s hard to explain, it’s more of an experience type thing, but it’s a lot of fun and a lot of musicianship, a lot of entertaining, a lot of dancing. It’s just a great party. If you could imagine Mardi Gras for 90 minutes phonically, then that’s what we do with some other things influenced in that. 

Have you spent much time in Houston?

I did. A lot of my family still lives there. They were displaced from Katrina. I would come in and hang out with them for a while before I would go out on tour. I feel like Houston is a part of me through my family.

What is your impression of the city?

It’s extremely big coming from New Orleans. It takes a long time to get everywhere, but there is a lot of soul there. I grew up listening to the Geto Boys with my brother. He turned me onto them, and I always watched their videos before I ever even got to Houston. It’s just a great place. There are a lot of great people there, a lot of great music, a lot of great hip hop music that started there. Whenever I’m there, I feel like I’m at home. The reception that Houstonians have for New Orleans is a beautiful thing too. I definitely feel a great respect. Plus, there are a lot of New Orleans people there that don’t come home, and we are able to bring some things to them.

You’re coming to Houston—a city that took on so many from your hometown when it faced a devastating storm—right after Harvey. Is this something you’ve thought about?

I’ve thought about my family that stayed out there to run from that type of thing and now they’re dealing with that now. I was in L.A. after playing at the Hollywood Bowl, and I was watching TV. Normally on the anniversary of Katrina they are normally showing old pictures and videos of that time, and it was really weird to watch Houston on TV on that same day underwater. It just touched my heart and brought me back to a feeling, kind of like déjà vu. My heart is with the people of Houston. If there is anything I can do at any point, I will do whatever I can due to the love that Houston has shown us.

Trombone Shorty, Sept. 19. Tickets from $35. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St. 888-402-5837. Tickets available at

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