Trombone Shorty Brings us an Unforgettable Marti Gras Celebration!

Trombone Shorty Brings us an Unforgettable Marti Gras Celebration!

It’s true that jazz doesn’t get much airplay these days, all-pervading influence aside, but that hardly seemed like the case when Trombone Shorty took the stage Saturday night. Troy Andrews, alias Trombone Shorty, brought Naptown its own slice of Marti Gras heaven, sright from Tremé. If you weren’t there, you’re gonna wish you were.

The Performers

Trombone Shorty, alias Troy Andrews, comes from New Orleans and to many, he represents a fine new chapter of the city’s proud jazz history. Certainly, given his performance in the charts and critically, they have ample evidence to base their thinking around. After all, it’s not every musician that shared a stage with Bo Diddley at the tender age of four. Heck, most musicians don’t get to share a stage with Bo Diddley period.
Since his chart-topping debut album in 2010, Trombone Shorty has done everything from collaborations with other musicians to appearing on the small screen (HBO’s Tremé). Trombone Shorty lives a life defined by music, and we love him for it.

Clint Breeze and the Groove

A jazz-hip-hop combo native to dear old Naptown, Clint Breeze and the Groove are already turning heads. The brainchild of drummer/producer Carrington Clinton, CBatG grew out of a desire to have actual musicians instead of just engineered sounds on a laptop. Now, after having won several local contests, Clinton has turned his attention to crafting albums. Time can only tell what we can expect from them.

The Show

Let’s just get this out of the way: the show was good. Really good. It’s hardly surprising, after all. If you couldn’t guess from reading the bio I wrote, Trombone Shorty’s great at what he does. I knew this was going to be a good concert walking in. But when you know you’re in for a good time, you’re just being a stick-in-the-mud if you don’t avail yourself.

Clint Breeze and the Groove

I’ll say one thing, it’s fortunate that the Vogue has one of the larger stages in Indy. Why? Because Shorty’s band, to say nothing of the opening act’s, was huge. Oh right, the opening act. I suppose I’d better talk about them a little, huh?
Well, they certainly weren’t up to Trombone Shorty’s level, but they were pretty good. In particular, the way they wove their melodies around their rapper’s vocal performance would have made any pro envious. Since they’re local talent, I hope they can get broader exposure.

Trombone Shorty

Now for what you (presumably) came to read about. Trombone Shorty’s entrance on its own was one for the books. The man sprinted onto stage with a trombone in one hand and trumpet in the other and then held them aloft like a pair of lopsided brass wings. Genius? Probably not, but it sure got my attention. Of course, I wasn’t just there for theatrics, I wanted to hear this man play. And play he did, brothers and sisters. Play he certainly did.

That trombone burned with a kind of elemental power that only a few musical forms really have. I couldn’t believe the amount of power that man blew forth from that horn. And not just him, every man in that band was a master of his instrument, but Shorty was the focus of the show. His fiery melodies effortlessly evoked the Big Easy in the throes of a Marti Gras for the ages. Busting out explosive runs on both his trombone and his trumpet, Shorty drew us in and pushed us out like a jazz Svengali. I know that I’m gushing, but I swear on all that I hold dear, it really was that good.

As per tradition, Shorty and the band got up to some hijinks on stage. Line dancing, jumping, capering, breakdancing. Really, it brought a kind of physicality to their performance that most bands just can’t bring at all. More importantly, it reminded the audience that this was a party. Jazz, and most music really, has an element of celebration to it. An element of Joy.

Final Thoughts

They show ended, I think, appropriately. With an explosion of confetti that the Vogue’s massive ceiling fans picked up and sent spiraling and daisying through the theater. If anything hammered home that Trombone Shorty meant this show as a celebration, it was that.

Keep listening everybody.


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