Trombone Shorty inspires students at Battle of the Bands

Published: Mar. 24, 2014 at 3:32 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Local high school students battle it out for cash and new musical instruments and with the help of a home grown celebrity Sunday, students dreams are becoming reality.

Lebron Joseph started playing trombone at the age of three. Sunday afternoon, with hundreds watching at Congo Square, Joseph and his band mates put on quite a show.

Scott Aiges, director of communications for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation explains, "We basically issued a challenge to band directors in the entire state of Louisiana. If you've got a marching band of 100 kids can you pick 10 of them and create a New Orleans style brass band."

The stakes were high. Winners received cash for their school's band program from the foundation. They also received instruments, purchased by Trombone Shorty, who says the importance of music in a young person's life can't be underestimated. "Through music you can go far because we've got a lot of young musicians that's into music but some type of way they get lost to the streets so I'm just letting them know if you take this seriously, it can be your passport to see the world," said Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.

Andrews says the dedication these students have shown to music so far, is impressive. "It's a Sunday. They could be playing basketball or doing whatever they want to do or video games but for them to show up and play some music and keep the legacy going, it makes me smile," said Andrews.

For Lebron Joseph and the rest of the crew from St. Aug, their hard work paid off, as they came in first place in the competition, and won $10,000.

The high school senior says this isn't the only thing he hopes to accomplish. He wants to be just like the man whose given back so much to students across the city. "I look up to him, he's one of my role models," Joseph said of Andrews.

And he hopes one day, he can be just as successful.

This is the third year the Jazz and Heritage Foundation hosted the Class Got Brass competition. The prize money given to the schools comes from Jazz Fest ticket sales.

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