By Julian Ruiz
KU Presents! opens the fall semester with the jazz sensation Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. The big brass/jazz performance will take place on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium.
Robin Zaremski, the director of KU Presents!, is ecstatic for the New Orleans native to kick off the school year. “I love to open the season with a nationally known dynamic performer,” she said.
Trombone Shorty, a.k.a. Troy Andrews, grew up in Treme, New Orleans and began playing the trombone at age 4. Since then, he has become a musical prodigy, touring all around the world accompanied by his band of five, Orleans Avenue.
Together, they have played at numerous venues and given countless performances with their special blend of jazz, R&B, hip-hop and rock influenced music. Shorty has played everywhere from the 2014 Grammy Awards to the White House in both 2012 and 2014.
The set list will include tracks from Shorty’s long library of songs as well as his most recent album, “Say That to Say This.” Among some of the expected pieces to be played are “Do to Me” and “Fire and Brimstone.”
Shorty’s performance will be preceded by a New Orleans inspired party at 6:30 p.m. on the Schaeffer lawn. The celebration, also known as a “NOLA-party,” will feature art students painting and sketching, New Orleans inspired cuisine such as creole rice and beans and a performance by a KU jazz group, unofficially dubbed, “The Brass Boogie Band.”
Operation Replay, an organization funded by both the Reading Music Foundation and Zeswitz Music Company, will be sponsoring the celebration. They will be collecting any new or slightly used instruments to donate to underprivileged children interested in participating in musical programs.
The performance will take place exactly one year before the sesquicentennial anniversary of KU’s Founder’s Day. “We’re very excited that he [Troy ‘Trombone’ Shorty] is kicking off the one year anniversary,” said Zaremski. “He is the ambassador for New Orleans brass music. He is doing all that he can to perpetuate the New Orleans brass sound to a young generation.”
Tickets for the event are available on the KU Presents! website for $39.