One of New Orleans’ hometown heroes, Trombone Shorty, brought his most beloved project, the Shorty Foundation, to Tipitina’s for its annual Shorty Fest fundraiser on Monday. New Orleans is legendary for how it nurtures and fiercely protects the talent it produces from the cradle up, and few artists go more “All In” than Trombone Shorty. Working with a veritable army of teachers, production workers, practicing musicians, and consultants, the Shorty Foundation opens its doors to musically inclined youth not just from around the city but from around the world.

Providing a practical set of skills beyond just musicianship, students accepted into the various programs the Shorty Foundation offers learn skills ranging from playing in the legendary New Orleans style to developing careers as a functioning, touring, business-savvy stewards of the culture themselves. It all stems from the love Shorty himself was shown as a child prodigy who went from playing along with second line parades that flow through the streets of the Crescent City as a child to blossoming into a world-wide touring artist.

Shorty, a.k.a. Troy Andrews, hasn’t been shy about his drive to pay that energy forward. While his own adventures have taken him from the corner to the biggest stages in the world, he always finds his way back home to help with the Foundation. It’s impressive work and many successes to teach, promote, and as he does each year in the hallowed halls of one of New Orleans’ greatest music venues, help raise the funds to keep his project alive and thriving. This year, he welcomed not just area icons like Tip’s owners and fellow Nawlins sonic guardians Galactic, but rising stars like Cimafunk and Tank & The Bangas for an all-day, all-star showcase of the best music the city has to offer.

Even with all that talent backing up Trombone Shorty’s own impressive Orleans Avenue band, who helped the Foundation leader anchor the show, the real stars and show-stealers were the students who took the stage throughout the day. Their raw chops, energy, and obvious joy at just being there was a delight to see and a joy to hear. Thanks to sponsors and generous donations from folks like Acura and, the entire show was made available online for free to hopefully generate more in the way of donations for this most worthy of causes.

Check out the full day’s many sets of music, catch a bit about how the Foundation functions and, most importantly, find out how you can support this most impressive initiative in the clip below. For photos from the gue

Shorty Fest 2023 – Tipitina’s – New Orleans, LA – 5/1/23