Glen David Andrews, a native son of New Orleans, is a warrior for cultural preservation in New Orleans at a time when indigenous traditions are being threatened, Andrews is standing up now for his own salvation. As the journalist Larry Blumenfeld, a Katrina Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute, has written: Long before he began trying to save himself in earnest, Andews’s music projected the promise of redemption…His remarkable singing voice and commanding trombone sound (both powerful, direct, resonant, and with just enough rasp) as well as his disarmingly honest manner have provided whatever the situation calls for: beauty, truth, compassion, anger, joy or all of the above.
Andrews comes from a storied extended family of musicians. He was born in the historic Tremé neighborhood which many consider to be the oldest black community in the United States. Transfixed by the magic and mystery of the city’s second-line parades, Andrews and his older brother, Derrick Tabb of the Rebirth Brass Band, along with their younger cousin Troy Trombone Shorty, soaked up life’s musical lessons by learning the history of the brass band tradition firsthand from iconic figures like Tuba Fats. They also learned the power of the city’s Mardi Gras Indian culture.
Starting on the bass drum as a child, Andrews soon picked up the trombone; he was blowing a joyful noise by the time he was 12. He practiced his musicianship and showmanship with the city’s most energetic brass bands, from New Birth and Li’l Rascals to ReBirth and Treme.
Andrews has made a compelling case for his own deliverance [with the release of Redemption], which correlates his own reclaimed life to his reclaimed city.