April 25, 2013

Local doctor's photograph goes postal


---- — CUMBERLAND HEAD — Dr. Laura Carbone’s twin passions are photography and music.

Wherever there’s live music — from the Cadyville Concert Hall to the Blast Furnace Blues Festival in Bethlehem, Pa. — Carbone snaps away from the photogs’ pit or finds a strategic front-row or backstage perch.

At the 2011 Philadelphia Folk Festival, her Nikon crossed paths with Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, who also plays a mean trumpet. He is the younger brother of James Andrews, a noted New Orleans bandleader and trumpeter, and the grandson of singer/songwriter Jessie Hill, who penned “Ooo Poo Pah Doo.”

Since 2009, Trombone Shorty has toured with his own funk/pop/hip-hop outfit, Orleans Avenue.

While Carbone focuses on her musical subjects, she strives to catch the physical aspect of sound and the visual excitement of a live performance.

At Philly’s Folk Fest, she shot a sequence of one of the greatest horn players walking the planet now. In one frame, Trombone Shorty reached for his trumpet and trombone. Holding one in each hand, he screamed.

Carbone showed the image to a woman from the saving-American-music magazine “Elmore,” and the musician’s image appeared in a subsequent issue.

Trombone Shorty is managed by the San Francisco-based Rosebud Agency, whose clientele includes John Hammond, Mavis Staples and Charlie Watts.

Rosebud management saw Carbone’s “Elmore” photo and requested it for a photo-of-the-month. Subsequently, the company has used three of her images on the artist’s website.

Carbone uses Flickr for photo storage, and Rosebud scoped her folders of Trombone Shorty, who was nominated for Artist of the Year, Best Trumpeter, Best Trombonist and Best R&B/Funk Artist by OffBeat Magazine 2012 Best of the Beat Awards.

Last year, she photographed him once again at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.

Of late, Carbone has been out of commission. She’s rehabbing from a broken femur sustained in a snowmobile accident. After two operations and a 33-day stay at CVPH Medical Center, she is on the mend.

Four days into her hospitalization, Mike Kappus, Rosebud founder/president/owner, called her. 

“He needed to talk to me ASAP about one of my photographs,” Carbone said.

One of her Trombone Shorty portraits, nothing special in her eyes, had caught his.

Though things were a blur then, she signed a release, and her image is part of today’s issue of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the New Orleans Post Office’s 2013 Commemorative Souvenir Envelope honoring Trombone Shorty. A special ceremony unveils the envelope at 11 a.m. today at Café Instabul in New Orleans. Past envelope honorees include Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson and Ellis Marsalis. The envelope can be purchased for $15 and will be sold at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May.

Carbone’s accident waylaid her plans to attend her sister’s Florida nuptials and meet up again with Trombone Shorty at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival earlier this month.

It’s been an adjustment for her to be on the other side of a stethoscope. But having her photograph chosen for Trombone Shorty’s envelope was a boon out of the blue.

“It’s what I really needed after breaking my leg,” Carbone said.

Email Robin

TO BUY WHAT: Trombone Shorty 2013 Commemorative Souvenir Envelope PRICE: $15 ADDRESS: U.S. Post Office, 701 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 PHONE: (504) 597-1706