Shorty's mother is beautiful and loving.

She instilled her love of music in him. 

Always in the periphery with a constant caring eye. She works two jobs to provide for her family. She has seen up close just how challenging life in the inner city can be and wants nothing more than for Shorty to find a different way. When she's at work, she trusts the neighbors to keep an eye on him.

In Treme, it truly does "take a village" to raise a child.

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Tuba Slim

Is in his early 30s. He's Shorty's mentor and a larger-than-life tuba player. He keeps an eye on Shorty, passing down nuggets of wisdom, history and musical traditions.

Slim, as Shorty calls him, can always be found sitting on the same bench, playing his tuba in Jackson Square.

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Big Chief

The Mardi Gras Indians are royalty within the African-American community. Dressed in handmade, beaded splendor, they represent freedom and perseverance. Big Chief is the sage culture keeper.

One gets a sense that he's battled a few demons in his life but has managed to come out on top. He doesn't say much but when he does, everyone listens.

You feel Big Chief is connected to something much bigger than himself and perhaps therein lies the source of his strength.

Shorty will learn a lot from Big Chief about dedication, focus, and sense of self.


Is the neighborhood's extended grandma. She's always in the kitchen, windows flung wide open to the street... The smell of her good cooking wafting out across the neighborhood.

Queenie is a generous soul. Always ready to serve up good food and sound advice to the neighborhood kids.

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Something Beautiful - Trombone Shorty
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