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by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews
Illustrated by Brian Collier
Published April 2015
Abrahms Books for Young Readers
In this autobiographical book, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews tells the story of how he became a musician. Growing up in New Orleans, Andrews was surrounded by music. Inspired by his grandmother, his brother and his city, Troy knew he wanted to make music from a very young age. He would make an instrument out of household objects until one day, as luck would have it, he found an old, used trombone and taught himself to play. He practiced tirelessly and even slept with his trombone sometimes.
His mother took him to a Bo Diddley concert and he brought his trusty trombone with him. When Troy started to play along, Bo Diddley stopped the concert and invited "Trombone Shorty" to play a song for the huge crowd. Trombone Shorty started his own band of school boys after that and has not stopped since.
I really loved this book. Andrews tells it in a distinctive voice that made me feel like I am walking through New Orleans listening to sweet jazz and smelling spicy gumbo. Brian Collier's illustrations are beyond excellent and bring this story to life with a combination of big close up pictures and collages that look music on the page.
Trombone Shorty would be a fabulous book to share with kids in grades 2-5.
Discussions and Activities
Share the book trailer.
Share this video of Trombone Shorty at age 13 playing with Duke Ellington!
Discuss skills that improve with practice.
Share a companion text such as Little Melba and Her Big Saxophone.