Where Y'at! Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews and Bryan Collier
"Lots of kids have nicknames. I want to tell you how I got mine.
But before you can understand just how important music is to me, you have to know how important it is to my hometown. I grew up in a neighborhood in New Orleans called Treme'.
Any time of day or night, you could hear music floating in the air."
Floating along with the music in the air, little Troy Andrews always knew he'd follow his brother James into fronting a band. But first, he had to learn to play an instrument. Along with other kids in the neighborhood, he improvised all sorts of ways to make music, and every chance he got he marched along behind the street bands. But then his instrument found him.
"Then one day I found a broken trombone. It looked too bent up to make music.
It wasn't perfect, but with a real instrument in my hands, I was ready to play."
The trombone was twice as tall as little Troy, so brother James took to calling him "Trombone Shorty," and Trombone Shorty he was from that day on. He worked on learning to play, carrying his horn with him everywhere. He even slept with it at night.
And then one day, in the crowd watching R and B star Bo Diddley performing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, little Troy started to play along and caught the attention of the star singer:
"Who's that playing out there?" he said.
Mom held me up. "That's my son, Trombone Shorty!"
"Well, come on up here, Trombone Shorty!" said Bo Diddley.
The crowd passed little Shorty over their heads up to the stage, and he played along with Bo Diddley's band. Trombone Shorty was on his way.
Soon, at the age of six Trombone Shorty had his own band, and the rest is, as they say, history. In his Caldecott and Coretta Scott King award-winning Trombone Shorty (Abrams Books, 2015), the now world famous trombonist tells his own story, illustrated brilliantly by Bryan Collier in his trademark mixed-media collage artwork which captures the rhythm and blended harmonies of what Trombone Shorty calls the "musical gumbo" of the town of New Orleans and of the American roots music he now shares with the world.
With an author's note that describes Trombone Shorty's Foundation and Music Academy, affiliated with Tulane University, and with charming childhood photos of the author as a trombone-toting little preschooler, this one is great for reading during January's Black History Month.
Says Booklist's review, "Sharp panels of color and image, perspective that dips and soars, and layers of mixed-media collage unite to feel like renditions of brass band music itself."