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‘Trombone Shorty’ to perform at White House

- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Jazz and funk musician Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is performing on Mardi Gras, but he won't be in his hometown of New Orleans. He'll be at the White House.

Andrews and his Orleans Avenue band will join B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo, Mick Jagger and others in a performance on Tuesday for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at a black history month event called "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues."

"I'll definitely bring some Mardi Gras beads for the president," Andrews said in an interview Thursday. "Hopefully I'll be able to give them to him myself."

Andrews said he doesn't know how he was chosen for the "In Performance at the White House" series, which began in 1978 during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

"I'm just going to take it all in," Andrews said. "It's a true blessing to be a part of this experience."

Over the years, the series has featured just about every genre of American arts and music, including pop, country, jazz, blues, theater and dance. Programs have included cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and singers Linda Ronstadt, Alison Krauss, Natalie Cole and Aretha Franklin.

On Tuesday, the "Red, White and Blues" theme will explore the roots of and pay homage to the blues and rock `n' roll music that sprang from Africa and slavery in the Mississippi Delta and west side of Chicago.

Andrews said he's excited to be playing for the Obamas and with the likes of B.B. King.

"I'm big fans of all those musicians," Andrews said. "B.B. King, Mick Jagger _ they're all on my iPod. I'm so glad I'm going to be playing with them, learning from them and just experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them."

Andrews isn't the only one who's thrilled. A spokesman for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where Andrews attended high school in the early 2000s, said news that an alumus would be performing for the Obamas was generating buzz around campus Thursday.

"Performing for the president _ it just doesn't get any better than that," Brian Hammell said. "It's really exciting news. We are very proud of him."

The show will be televised Feb. 27 on PBS stations.

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