Trombone Shorty on Lenny Kravitz, David Simon, and being the lone horn player at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest

Before the year got under way, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews was a New Orleans music star on the rise.

The 24-year-old trombone and trumpet player had toured with Lenny Kravitz and was the youngest person ever featured on the poster of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

But by year's end, he had guest-starred on David Simon's HBO show "Treme," garnered a Grammy nomination for his new album, and performed at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest.

The rapid success was unexpected — not because he was young, but because he's a horn player. At a time when traditional jazz has fallen out of favor with young listeners, he was the lone trumpeter who commanded his own stage at the rock- and dance-heavy Virgin FreeFest.

"I didn't see 2010 coming. I just had shows in mind, just getting better and touring," he said. "It's just been a blessing."

Though he's been touring for years, the level of attention he received this year has resulted in booking some 200 performances at clubs bigger than he's ever played before.

On December 30, he'll perform at Rams Head Live, where the local band The Bridge will open for him.

New Orleans is full of musicians, and Andrews grew up in one of its better-known musical families. His grandfather, Jessie Hill, scored a popular hit in the 1960s with the song "Ooh Poo Pah Doo," and an uncle, Prince La La, wrote the classic "She Put the Hurt on Me."

The full preview of Andrews' show is here.


Photo: Handout