2011 Philadelphia Folk Festival: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Shine at 50th Annual Philly Folk Fest


The 2011 Philadelphia Folk Festival came and went this weekend at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township – near Schwenksville.

The 2011 Philadelphia Folk Festival came and went this weekend at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township – near Schwenksville.

Much like every year – the Folk Fest offers something for everyone. If you want crafts, good beer (sponsored by Yard’s Brewing Company), good food Trombone Shorty 2011 Philadelphia Folk Festival(gyros anybody?) or even some storytelling – you can accomplish everything in one afternoon. In fact, the shade of Dulcimer Grover and a storytelling gathering at 2:00 made for a perfect respite from the muggy, sultry conditions.

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is not just a music festival – it’s an eclectic blend of arts, family fun, music, education, entertainment…and of course good food and beer too!

Philly2Philly was there in 2009 to see The Decemberists and Jeff Tweedy last year. We also were delighted to see Mason Porter take the Camp Stage in 2010. This year the headlining philadelphia folk fest 2011acts on the Martin Guitar Stage Saturday afternoon were Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and David Bromberg Big Band. While temperatures peaked out in the mid-80’s Saturday afternoon, the sun was blazing and quite opressive, which made it feel more like 95 degrees in the open fields. But, it was worth it to sit out in the hot sun to check out a rising superstar in Trombone Shorty.

Trombone Shorty took the stage shortly after 4:00 and played for an hour with his band Orleand Avenue – and to put it bluntly; they brought the house down. Just who is Trombone Shorty for those of you who are unaware of him? Troy Andrews, the man behind the band is a 26-year-old rising superstar in the music industry who hails from New Orleans. Andrews goes by the stage name Trombone Shorty and has a 2011 philadelphia folk fest trombone shortybackground in jazz, rock, funk, and hip hop. Thus, he brings to the stage with his talented band a blend of funk, hip, and funk called “supafunkrock.” He’s about as talented of a musician you’ll ever see live.

On several occasions during their show his trombone solos would go on for what seemed like minutes.

They kicked off their show with an entirely instrumental jazz song. Their concert featured their well-known hits and even a song from their forthcoming album. However, the highlight of the show was their cover of “When the Saints Go Marching In” – made famous by Louis Armstrong.

When they were done playing the crowd begged for more. And, they exited for a minute, but returned to play one final song and there wasn’t a person in the crowd who didn’t want to hear another hour or two despite being roasted by the sun I will be shocked if Trombone Shorty isn’t a household name soon. If you ever get a chance to check them out live – get your ass out there and do so! If you want to hear more of these guys, check them out on Youtube right here.


After Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue wrapped up their show, legendary Folk Fest emcee and co-founder Gene Shay (photo on the left) was honored. And, what better Gene Shay 50th annual Philadelphia Folk Festivalway to honor Mr. Shay than by handing out paper fans to the crowd with his face printed on all of them.

Gene Shay has hosted the Folk Fest since it’s inception in 1962. Shay is a legend in the Philadelphia radio industry and is credited for being the first to bring Bob Dylan to Philadelphia in 1963.

Suffice it to say Mr. Shay has seen and done it all. The crowd did him proud by giving him a standing ovation when he took the stage.

And, by this point – the 50th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival was only halfway done. Still on tap for Saturday evening were an array of artists which included folk legend Arlo Guthrie and The Campbell Brothers Band.

On Sunday – the Levon Helm Band, David Wax Museum, and Jessica Lea Mayfield were the headlining performers.

Check out the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s website at http://www.pfs.org/

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

Photo of crowd and Trombone Shorty by Aileen Bannon. Check out her 2011 Philadelphia Folk Fest photo gallery at www.philly2philly.com/culture/lens

Other photos by Dennis Bakay

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