Entrepreneur Sam Porter has put together numerous shows over the years. One of the more successful endeavors has been his Microbrew and Music Festivals, the 2016 version of which is coming this weekend at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Some 60 purveyors of beer, mead, cider and wine will be on hand, along with nearly a dozen musical acts.

MyNorth Media entertainment writer Ross Boissoneau boasts the diverse bands headlining and performing at the 2016 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival.


Headlining Friday night is the acclaimed Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. The Heard, the Go Rounds, That 1 Guy, and Heatbox are the other artists on tap (get it?) that night. Come Saturday, the latter two join the likes of the Accidentals, The Last Revel, The Change, Detroit Party Marching Band, and Deep Blue Water Samba. That night’s featured performer is The Revivalists.

How Trombone Shorty Got His Start

Troy Andrews followed in his family’s musical footsteps, leading a band in his native New Orleans by age six. That makes sense as he was playing professionally at five. Before he hit double digits he even had a Tremé club named for him, Trombone Shorts.

In his teens, Andrews attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and recorded and performed with the Stooges Brass Band. Along with way, Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, picked up not only the trombone but trumpet, organ, drums and tuba.

He toured as part of Lenny Kravitz’s horn section at age 19 and has shared the stage with the likes of Hall & Oates and Aerosmith. He performed with U2 and Green Day for the NFL’s pre-game show celebrating the re-opening of the New Orleans Superdome following Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding of his hometown.


Jazz, funk, brass band, r&b, neo-soul—and that’s just Trombone Shorty. Fellow N’Awlins band the Revivalists showcase their rootsy blend of Americana and jam band aesthetics, while the other performers mix and match various genres and styles—folk, rock, indie, jazz, bluegrass, and marches, among others.

Inspirations and Influences

The Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, Lenny Kravitz, Ellis Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Phish, and the list goes on and on …

Additional Background

This is the ninth annual Summer Microbrew & Music Festival. It’s become one of the region’s most popular events, and has showcased a bevy of brews from around the region, the state and the nation.


“The Accidentals defy expectations, defy the odds, truly defy description.” Local Spins

“That was an exciting night, because you knew that Trombone Shorty was going to get the national attention that he so rightly deserves. People found out why we call him Trombone Shorty, because they showed the pictures, he was smaller than the trombone when he started playing. The trombone slide used to drag on the street in front of him because he was so small.” – Actor Wendell Pierce in Rolling Stone on one of his favorite moments in his TV show Treme


The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Date & Time

August 26 to 27. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday.

Microbrew & Music Festival Ticket Information

Advance tickets for Friday $50, Saturday $55, weekend passes $100

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Photo(s) by Trombone Shorty