Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  Bryan Collier has illustrated books by famous African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Langston Hughes.  Now he has collaborated with musician Troy Andrews to tell the story of Troy’s early life.  From a very young age, Troy looked up to his musician brother James and made music with whatever he could find.  When he was four, he found a broken-down trombone and taught himself to play, taking it with him wherever he went, and earning himself the nickname Trombone Shorty.  When his mother took him to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, he took his trombone and played along with Bo Diddley.  Bo stopped and asked who was playing.  The crowd passed young Troy up to the stage and the two played together.  Now Trombone Shorty has his own band, as well as a foundation to help other young musicians in New Orleans.

Pros:  Troy tells his story with a distinctive voice influenced by his New Orleans childhood.  Collier’s watercolor collage illustrations really capture the feel of New Orleans jazz.  Back matter includes more information about Andrews’ life and a note on how the illustrations were created.

Cons:  A person born the year I graduated college is an award-winning musician with his own foundation.

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