BROOKLYN, New York — The Big Easy is ready to take on Brooklyn.
On Friday (December 3), some of New Orleans' signature music artists kick off the Red Hot + New Orleans festival at the borough's BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The two-day music cabaret will unload legendary acts including Ivan Neville, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, rap duo Partners-N-Crime, world-renowned producer Mannie Fresh and the show's musical director, Troy
"Trombone Shorty" Andrews, with his Orleans Avenue bandmates.
Andrews' first stab as the production's musical director comes just days after snagging his first Grammy nod in the best contemporary jazz album category for his acclaimed CD Backatown. The trumpeter, whose performance style is often described as recalling the "lips of Louis Armstrong," also appeared as himself in a recurring role on the HBO show "Treme" earlier this year. Trombone says sharing the Brooklyn stage with some of his city's top acts will be an honor.
"[I'm] happy to be here representing New Orleans," Trombone told MTV News backstage after a rehearsal at BAM. "I'm making a donation to the AIDS task force of New Orleans, presenting the music of New Orleans and doing it for a good cause."
Trombone says delivering the classic New Orleans sound to an audience of mostly New Yorkers isn't difficult at all.
"I get to play some of my favorite songs that I grew up on with some of the people that wrote the songs, like Ivan Neville. The world-famous Mannie Fresh [is here]," he said. "I'm honored to be here and there's not much directing I have to do. They're all legends."
Neville shares Trombone's excitement about playing alongside his regional peers at Red Hot.
"Glad to be a part of such a cool thing with some New Orleans legends," Neville said. "Young legends. It's an honor to be here. It's a wonderful thing."
The Red Hot series plans to donate part of the proceeds from the event to New Orleans' NO/AIDS Task Force in commemoration of World AIDS Day. Mannie Fresh says the event is every music lover's dream.
"They got people like Irma Thomas, Dr John," he said. "That's crazy, [getting] that in one place for a good cause. Come and enjoy yourself. New Orleans is in the house."