Trombone Shorty exults on Voodoo Threauxdown Tour: “People will get all that New Orleans music gumbo!”
Trombone Shorty has yet to figure out a way to take his concert audience to New Orleans, at least not literally.
So he’s doing what’s best in bringing New Orleans to audiences nationwide. His 2022 Voodoo Threauxdown Tour, which includes a show tonight, Wednesday, at the nearly 18,000-seat Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and a performance Sunday in San Diego at the 4,718-seat Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The tour includes several dozen musicians in five groups, as well as three guest solo artists. Each is a vibrant mainstay of the Big Easy’s famously rich and varied music scene.
“I tour a lot and miss home a lot,” said Shorty, real name Troy Andrews. “The Threauxdown gives me the chance to be with my family and friends, and showcase great New Orleans music in almost every aspect.”
This is the second iteration of the tour, which began in 2018. This year’s lineup includes Tank and The Bangas, former Neville Brothers vocalist/percussionist Cyril Neville, the Soul Rebels Brass Band, vocal star from bounce-music Big Freedia, veteran rapper Juvenile, and the band Dumpstaphunk, which includes Ivan Neville and Meters’ great bassist George Porter, Jr.. Shorty and his 14-piece band Orleans Avenue headlined.
Each of them has performed several times at the legendary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which was launched in 1970. The proudly eclectic event, which rebounded in April after a two-year COVID shutdown, has long been called , simply, Jazz Fest by artists and attendees.
With Voodoo Threauxdown, Shorty assembled a mini-Jazz Fest lineup for a coast-to-coast concert tour. In doing so, it provides a piquant sonic gateway for viewers who may know little or nothing about Jazz Fest.
“I wanted to bring all of New Orleans with me to the world,” Shorty said.
“As you say, a lot of people may not have been to Jazz Fest. But they know who we are and now they can see some of the people who are my mentors, like Cyril Neville and Dumpstaphunk, and some of the bands the more contemporary ones, like the Soul Rebels, Tank and The Bangas, people will get all that gumbo of New Orleans music!
Providing a gumbo of New Orleans music is also an apt job description for Shorty.
He was just 4 years old when he first performed at Jazz Fest, where he sat down with rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Bo Diddley in 1990. He started touring at the age 7 and joined the American Musicians Union at age 10. Since 2013, Shorty and his band have held Jazz Fest’s coveted closing day performance slot, after four decades led by the now defunct Neville Brothers.
Jazzed up at the Jazz Fest
“With as much touring as I do, I can’t see a lot of local artists when I’m home in New Orleans,” Shorty said, speaking during a recent break from touring from his home in town. .
“Being at Jazz Fest is my chance to discover new artists or see an established band that I haven’t seen in years. I try to go wherever I can at Jazz Fest, unless I get stuck in lines! When this happens, I line up with fans and miss some bands.
Shorty often sits with other Jazz Fest performers, as befits a jack-of-all-trades musician who shines in almost any stylistic context.
His many former collaborators range from Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, Ringo Starr and Foo Fighters to New Orleans music hero Wynton Marsalis, Lenny Kravitz, Dierks Bentley and Jon Batiste. “We Are,” Batiste’s multiple Grammy-winning 2021 album, features Shorty as a performer and songwriter.
The 2022 Voodoo Threauxdown Tour follows this year’s release of “Lifted”, Shorty’s latest album for Blue Note Records. Filled with rhythmically propelling music, it features guest artists as diverse as guitarist Gary Clark, Jr., the New Breed Brass Band and Christian vocal star Lauren Daigle, who performed with Shorty on this year’s edition of Jazz Fest in New Orleans.
Shorty sings and plays trombone, trumpet, organ, electric piano, synthesizer and percussion on the album. The cover photo of “Lifted” shows him at age 4 – a plastic toy saxophone in his hand – being held aloft by his mother, Lois, during a street parade in New Orleans as he passes by. a fanfare.
“We went to parades every weekend,” recalls Shorty, whose mother died in November and was a cultural champion in their Treme neighborhood. “I remember the sound of the horns and being mesmerized by some of the older musicians playing.”
This street tradition is celebrated on “Lifted” with two songs in particular, “Miss Beautiful” and “Everybody in the World”.
“The root is that street beat I grew up with,” said Shorty, whose gigs often include his versions of James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.” and Louis Armstrong’s 1938 classic, “When the Saints Step In.”
“James Brown and his band were amazing, and I was born hearing ‘The Saints!’ They’re both part of our tradition. I’m not sure I’m part of that tradition, Again. But I’m working towards that, so – when it’s all said and done – I hope I’ve had a positive impact on the growth of this music.
Who’s who at Voodoo Threauxdown
Several dozen musicians from New Orleans perform as part of the national tour with Trombone Shorty and his band, Orleans Avenue. Here’s a look at who’s in the lineup.
Tank and the Bangas: 2017 winners of NPR’s prestigious Tiny Desk competition, this Grammy-nominated group was formed in 2011. Fronted by singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball, the group mixes elements of funk, hip-hop, spoken word, gospel, jazz and rock to create songs that strive to entertain and enlighten. Ball is the winner of two National Poetry Slam Championships, while she and her band earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2020.
George Porter Jr. and Dumpstaphunk: Bass great Porter is co-founder of The Meters, the legendary New Orleans funk band that formed in 1965. Also inspired by Mardi Gras street chants, R&B, Latin music and more, The Meters recorded such indelible gems as “Cissy Strut, ‘Hey Pocky A-Way’ and ‘Fire on the Bayou’. Expect to hear all three when Porter pays homage to The Meters’ legacy with Dumpstaphunk. The happy-grooving band includes former Bonnie Raitt and Keith Richards keyboardist/vocalist Ivan Neville, whose late uncle, Art Neville, co-founded The Meters.
Fat Freedia: Is Beyoncé New Orleans rapper Big Freedia’s most prominent fan? Very probable. Beyoncé’s new single, “Break My Soul,” features a sample of Freedia’s 2014 song, “Explode,” while Beyoncé’s 2016 hit, “Formation,” featured Freedia memorably singing, ” I didn’t come to play with you bitches / I came to slay…” The star of the 2013-17 Fuse reality series “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce”, Freedia is a proudly gay man born Freddie Ross . He was hailed as the king and queen of bouncy music, a unique take on hip-hop with a New Orleans flavor that includes Indian Mardi Gras call-and-response chants – and a lot of twerking.
Cyril Neville: Singer and percussionist Cyril Neville was co-founder of New Orleans’ most acclaimed local band, The Neville Brothers. Equally notable as a bandleader and session musician, he has been featured on albums by artists as disparate as Willie Nelson, Toots & The Maytals, Bob Dylan, Ani DiFranco, Robbie Robertson, Jimmy Buffett, The Pimps of Joytime, Edie Brickell and most of the artists on this year’s Voodoo Threauxdown tour.
The Soul Rebels Marching Band: When it comes to eclecticism, this cheerful Big Easy marching band can rival Cyril Neville, after whom the group is named. Soul Rebels collaborators range from Katy Perry and Metallica to Macy Gray and Portugal. The man. Composed of two drummers, two trumpeters, two trombonists, a saxophonist and the tuba-like sousaphone, this funk and hip-hop-loving group salutes and extends the tradition of brass bands with contagious verve.
Juvenile: Like fellow New Orleans rappers Lil Wayne, Master P and $uicideboy$, Juvenile (real name: Terius Gray) has found success far beyond his hometown. The title of his ninth album, 2009’s “Cocky and Confident”, sums up the swagger of his lyrical and vocal delivery. But Juvenile displayed its social conscience admirably last year when it turned its biggest hit, 2000s “Back That Thang Up”, into “Vax That Thang Up”, a fiery musical testimony encouraging young black Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown 2022
With: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Tank and The Bangas, Big Freedia, George Porter Jr. & Dumpstaphunk, Cyril Neville, The Soul Rebels and Juvenile
When: 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, Downtown
Tickets: $60 to $145, plus service charge
On line: theshell.org