CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue put a Bayou touch on Charleston’s FestivALL at the Mayor’s Concert Thursday night.
The New Orleans native and trombone and trumpet player Troy Andrews, known as “Trombone Shorty” drew a huge crowd to the Clay Center. FestivALL Co-Chairman Larry Groce said that they’ve wanted the concert for several years.
“Trombone Shorty became the star of the Mayor’s Concert because he was on Mountain Stage 5 years ago and everybody loved him,” Groce said. “Then he came back to West Virginia State and people loved him there.”
The concert was something different for the city, Mayor Danny Jones said.
“You can see it’s geared toward a little bit of an older crowd, and it has a bit of an African-American flavor to it,” Jones said.
Groce thought that everyone can get something out of Trombone Shorty’s music.
“Trombone Shorty appeals to audiences all over the world and of all ages because he comes out of the traditional brass bands in New Orleans, but he adds funk and hip-hop to that, which appeals to different people” Groce said. “He’s got extremely wide appeal and I know he’s going to have appeal here.”
Andrews, who also sings, began playing instruments at age 6 and was touring internationally by the time he was 12. He went on to play with brass bands in New Orleans throughout his teens.
He joined a list of big names to play at Clay Center, including Gladys Knight, George Benson and the Neville Brothers.