Trombone Shorty Academy

Following the path that led to Trombone Shorty’s success, the Trombone Shorty Academy at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation educates the next generation of musically gifted students through a performance curriculum curated by Trombone Shorty and the foundation’s Executive Director, Bill Taylor, and based on Danny Barker’s Fairview Baptist Church music program. Barker produced New Orleans legends Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Lucien Barbarin, and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Students are fully immersed in the history and key influencers of New Orleans music, while preparing for ensemble performances under the instruction of accomplished musicians, including members of Rebirth Brass Band, The Soul Rebels, and New Breed Brass Band, culminating in the organization’s annual fundraising event, Shorty Fest.

Program elements include:

  • Quality musical performance, reading, writing and business education to prepare students for success in the music industry and life – in a relaxed, fun, and motivational atmosphere.
  • Experienced and professional teachers and mentors who provide instruction across musical disciplines. Academy teachers are all professional musicians, playing with some of the most notable bands in New Orleans, deriving inspiration from the tight-knit community of performers, mentors, and instructors throughout the city.
  • Development of a core of comprehensive New Orleans musical knowledge, including brass band, traditional jazz, Blues, gospel, Mardi Gras Indian funk, hip-hop, and Trombone Shorty’s own hybrid sound of “SupaFunkRock.”
  • Impact beyond the classroom by supporting students’ academic performance, social interaction, and creating cultural opportunities talented youth may not otherwise have access to.
  • Empowering the students to pass on their knowledge, skill, and culture by playing it forward – a time-honored New Orleans tradition that is part of the fabric of the city.
  • Graduates taking their place alongside other new talent on stages at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and in performance venues around world, and they are an integral part of the music business in New Orleans.

Fredman Music Business Institute

To support the growth of the musical community from the ground up, the Fredman Music Business Institute provides training in the business side of the music industry: live and studio recording, event production and promotion, touring, legal concepts, licensing, management, and marketing. Armed with an iPad and supported by the expertise of instructors, like Grammy award-winning producer, Chris Finney and Troy Andrews himself, the students play a key role in producing the foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, Shorty Fest.

Trad Fridays

Building on the foundation’s preservation of traditional New Orleans sounds, Trad Fridays is a unique partnership with New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) celebrating the teaching and mentorship that keeps brass band street music alive. This monthly series brings the street to classically-trained students at the center, furthering the academy’s thorough and diverse musical education. Students gain a comprehensive knowledge of jazz, blues, funk, soul, and more local styles, providing the versatility to succeed in any aspect of music performance and business – and in life. Free and open to the public and featuring some of the most legendary performers in the industry, like Wendell Brunious, the program gets the entire community involved in playing it forward.

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Pathways to Careers Program

Our “Pathways to Careers” class focused on advanced performance and music business studies and is led by renowned local musicians Herlin Riley and Wendell Brunious. Thanks to support from The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Aspen Institute.