Musical cousin of Trombone Shorty dies at 28

Trumpet Black

Travis Hill, known as ‘Trumpet Black’, played with New Orleans’ New Birth Brass Band and his own band the Heart Attacks.

The trumpet playing cousin of internationally renowned jazz musician Trombone Shorty has died aged just 28.

Travis Hill, known as ‘Trumpet Black’, played with New Orleans’ New Birth Brass Band and his own band the Heart Attacks. He died on Monday in Tokyo from complications arising from a previous minor dental procedure. He was due to play a series of live dates in Japan.

Hill was one of the musical grandsons of New Orleans music great Jesse Hill along with Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, trumpeter James Andrews and trombonist and vocalist Glen David Andrews. He was the same age as Trombone Shorty, growing up along side him musically. They both went to the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp and played in a number of acclaimed young brass bands in the city.

Their respective career paths panned out very differently though as Hill spent nine years in jail was for armed robbery. Upon release he resolved to be more involved in his music and played with cousin Glen’s band and the Hot 8 Brass Band. More recently he regular performed at the famous Vaughan’s Lounge and Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in New Orleans with his own outfit Trumpet Black and the Heart Attacks.

Hill also volunteered with an organisation called ‘Trumpets Not Guns’ playing benefit concerts and working with children at risk.

In the latter part of last year he began work on a new album featuring Trombone Shorty and New Orleans based Japanese guitarist June Yamagishi.

Hill’s cousin Glen David Andrews said, ”today my heart is heavy with the loss of my little cousin, more like my little brother. I love him, I will always love him and never let his memory fade away."

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