Grammy nominee and virtuoso Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews brought his signature sound to town last week, dazzling patients at Legacy Emanuel’s recently opened Randall Children’s Hospital before bringing the brass to a sold-out crowd at the Oregon Zoo.
Music As Medicine, a local event series that raises funds and awareness for the Children’s Cancer Association’s MusicRX program, brought the musician in for an early afternoon visit with young hospital residents in the modern and colorful new 300,000ft2 addition to the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center campus, designed by local ZGF Architecture. Joined by Orleans Avenue band members Dan Oestreicher (on baritone sax) and Tim McFatter (on tenor sax), the trio free-styled a song they dubbed the “8th Floor Blues,” answered questions from curious new jazz fans, and demonstrated exactly how much air it takes to force a note out of a full-size trombone. For Andrews, connecting kids with music holds a special significance—hailing from the historically musical New Orleans Tremé neighborhood, the now 25-year-old Grammy nominated musician picked up the trombone at only 6 years old, earning his nickname playing an instrument that stood well taller than he was.
Hours later, Andrews took the stage at the Oregon Zoo for his first appearance at the annual Summer Concert Series. For his second audience of the day (at 3,000 spectators strong, also quite a bit larger than the first), Trombone Shorty was joined by Robert Randolph and his Family Band, the steel guitarist Rolling Stone Magazine named among the “100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time.” True to form, the enthusiasm of the self-dubbed “supafunkrock” musicians kept the audience moving—with the exception of Andrews’ mile-long riffs that could only be the result of a superhuman lung capacity (or, more likely, two decades of nonstop trombone and trumpet playing), which had jaws dropped and feet glued firmly to the grass.
While there’s no denying the impression Trombone Shorty left on Oregon Zoo audience members, it’s safe to say there’s more than one foot still tapping to the beat on the 8th floor of the Randall Children’s Hospital.
Learn more about the MusicRX program at http://www.joyrx.org/programs/music-rx/, and keep up with Music As Medicine’s annual fundraising events at www.facebook.com/MusicAsMedicine .