Arts & Culture

Musicians in New Orleans and Cuba Explore their Shared Heritage and Similar Sounds

heard on All Things Considered

Trombone Shorty leads a binational jam session with music students from New Orleans and Havana (Debbie Elliott/NPR)

By Debbie Elliott / NPR | HAVANA — It’s a bit chaotic in the band room of the Guillermo Tomas music school, on the outskirts of Havana, where scores of young players tune up their instruments, ready to learn some new music. Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, the busy New Orleans musician, is sitting on the front row to take in the performance.

“They say ‘do you speak Spanish?’ and I say I’m from the Treme, so I speak Tremish,” he jokes.

Andrews, who grew up in the historic Treme neighborhood, is here for a cultural exchange between musicians from New Orleans and Cuba. It’s sponsored in part by his Trombone Shorty Foundation, a program that nurtures budding young artists…

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