- 21 November 2014
BY MIKE RAGOGNA
A Conversation with Chris Botti
Mike Ragogna: Chris, recently, you played the national anthem and it not only made national news but you also brought Reggie Wayne to tears. That must have been an amazing moment for you.
Chris Botti: I think I did one interview with the Indianapolis newspaper after I performed that, you're the first person to ask me about it since then. But in my career, I've been very fortunate to have some really nice, freaky things happen, like Oprah Winfrey wants me on her show or something like that. Who would've ever thought in a million years that the cameras would be somehow fixed on this legendary football player on the exact moment that he starts tearing up? If I would've just played the anthem and that hadn't happened then they would've just said, "Hey Chris, nice anthem." It would've just been that. The drama of not only him being affected like that but also the TV cameras catching it is just the wildest thing. You practice millions and millions of hours playing trumpet and then this one thing comes along and everyone remembers, it's so nice. A lot of credit is due to David Foster for playing those beautiful chords underneath me. I kind of had a backseat role in all of it, but it was pretty thrilling.
MR: For most artists, just performing the national anthem on Monday Night Football is pretty intense as it is.
CB: Yeah, and I've done a few of those. I did the AFC Championship and countless other regular football games for NFL, and I did World Series as well. Those are always really fun opportunities to play.
MR: Chris, you have a residency coming up at New York City's Blue Note between December 15th and the first week of January, and not only are you playing but you're having guests a slate of special guests join you. What's it like to take over the Blue Note?
CB: We tour about two hundred fifty, three hundred days a year. The band is a well-oiled machine in that respect. We have a very serious outlook on gigging and performing, so for us to come to New York at that time of year, which is always special, and then to play that legendary jazz club and do forty-five shows in twenty-one nights--I think we're doing a couple of days where we have three shows in one day--it's a rush. And you don't have to get on an airplane so you can walk to work. It's fantastic. This is our tenth year, so people have come from all over the world to make December fun for them in New York. It's taken a lot of time for us, traveling around the world, where we were in Istanbul last month or Republic Of Georgia and everyone's like, "We'll see you at the Blue Note in December!" You get a feeling that the word has actually spread and people will actually come to the show. It's really a nice feeling.
Read the full interview here at huffingtonpost.com
- 18 November 2014
TRIANGLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
by DAWN RENO LANGLEY+ • November 17th, 2014 •
On a tour that has spanned 10 years and many countries, Chris Botti has performed with and for luminaries who are too numerous to count. On Nov. 16th, thousands of his closest friends packed the Durham Performing Arts Center on a misty Sunday night to be thrilled by his virtuosity; and all of them left completely wowed by the experience.
Read the full concert review here at triangleartsandentertainment.com
- 7 November 2014
THE INDY CHANNEL
BY DAVE FURST
Were you as moved as Reggie Wayne during the playing of the national anthem before Monday night’s Colts game? Chris Botti, the musician behind it all, said he was equally surprised and pleased by the reaction to his performance.
Botti spoke with RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst about his Hoosier ties.
He went to Indiana University in the early 80s before leaving his senior year to go on tour with Frank Sinatra. Since then, Botti has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and won the best pop-instrumental album last year. Botti said Monday night’s performance ranks right up there, especially since it was the first time he had performed the anthem in eight years.
"While I was happy to be playing the anthem, it was great, but it was really the fact that it moved Reggie to that experience and also the whole situation with his career and on top of that, he had a great game. So it was a win-win-win," Botti said.
Watch the full video here at theindychannel.com
- 5 November 2014
- 4 November 2014
By Breeanna Hare, CNN
(CNN) -- Before the final whistle at Monday night's game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants, trumpeter Chris Botti had already won.
The Grammy-winning musician was on the field at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to perform the national anthem for November 3's "Monday Night Football." No vocals, as we've become accustomed to -- just Botti and his instrument.
What transpired was so affecting that it left viewers with chills and brought Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne to tears.
"I'm just blessed to be out there," Wayne later told ESPN. His performance during Monday night's game pushed Wayne to eighth
Read the full article here at CNN.com
- 15 October 2014
Genlux Magazine shuts down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for a VIP concert event with Grammy winner Chris Botti and his world-class band. From start to finish this beautiful night under the stars came to fruition in only 92 days. With the help of Craig Donahue at The Donahue Group, The Rodeo Drive Committee, and the City of Beverly Hills, we created the biggest event since Andrea Bocelli held a concert here almost 15 years ago. Genlux is proud to have had the support of the Mayor of Beverly Hills, the City Council and all of the merchants of Rodeo Drive to hold this momentous event. Thanks to those who helped including BMW and Westime and the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive.
- 3 September 2014
SORRY THIS LIST IS FULL - EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS GOING OUT OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO!!!
In celebration of the opening night of The Rodeo Drive Festival of Watches + Jewlery, we are excited to announce that Chris will be performing a free private concert under the stars presented by Genlux Magazine and The Rodeo Drive Committee.
Both presenters have graciously allowed us to invite 50 fans and a guest to attend this very special event. The first 50 fans that email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us they can attend will get on the list. Reservations are limited and available on a first come first served basis and are non-transferable. Fans who qualify will receive a confirmation email letting them know how to obtain tickets to the performance.
Date / Time: Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8:00pm
Location: The 300 block of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
- 30 July 2014
By Don Heckman
There were two guys named Chris on stage at the Hollywood Bowl Friday and Saturday nights. Despite their identical first names, their styles traced to very different genres. And despite those different sources, they both offered performances rich in musicality and compelling entertainment.
Friday evening opened with the first Chris – jazz trumpeter Chris Botti — backed by his own group and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Bramwell Tovey.
Although Botti was often identified with the smooth jazz style in his early years, he has always been a player whose music was filled with the authority of jazz authenticity. Over the past two decades his ever-curious, inventive imagination has taken him to jazz settings reaching from performances with full symphonic orchestras, to straight ahead mainstream jazz, and explorations reaching the outer limits of free improvisations.
Much of that territory was explored in his gripping performance at the Bowl.
Botti began with a warm tribute to Miles Davis, applying his trademark, warm tone to a composition long associated with Davis – Rodrigo’s Concierto De Aranjuez. To Botti’s credit, he made the piece’s lush Spanish melodies his own. He was equally expressive with Davis’ “Flamenco sketches.
And when he added some familiar standards – “When I Fall In Love” and “The Very Thought of You” – he once again emphasized his embracingly warm sound and expressive tone to every melodic phrase.
Botti also showcased his skills as a leader, urging the members of his band – pianist Geoff Keezer, guitarist Ben Butler, bassist Richie Goods and drummer Billy Kilson – into their own far-reaching skills. Add to that the mesmerizing violin playing of guest artist Caroline Campbell on the Grammy-nominateed “Emmanuel,” as well as George Komsky’s soaring vocal rendering on “Time To Say Goodbye,” and the stunning versatility of singer Sy Smith.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Botti’s easygoing communication with his audience. Strolling the stage, offering occasional interchanges with his listeners, he added a quality of warm connectivity too rarely seen in jazz performances.
Read the full article here at The International Review of Music
- 17 July 2014
BY MUSIC NEWS DESK
Blue Note Jazz Club, one of the world's most iconic jazz and blues venues based in Greenwich Village, has announced world renowned trumpeter Chris Botti's milestone 10th Annual Holiday Residency. The three-week engagement at the club will run Monday, December 15, 2014 through Sunday, January 4, 2015, with two shows each evening (including Christmas Eve and New Years Eve performances).
Botti, described by The Wall Street Journal as "a December institution in the Big Apple," has called the Blue Note his home every December since 2005. Over the years the residency has featured special impromptu musical guests, such as Sting and John Mayer (2011). Celebrities from all walks of the entertainment business have attended Botti's Blue Note performances, ranging from Mary J Blige to Paul Haggis.
"Coming to the Blue Note for as many years as I've been is like coming home," says Botti. "The best city, the best club, the greatest people."
Reflecting on Botti's ten-year run, Blue Note Entertainment Group President Steven Bensusan says, "Chris' annual holiday residency has become one of the highlights of our venue's story, with a prime focus on loyalty. This is an engagement that fans regularly look forward to and support each year. It's also a testament to our relationship and history with Chris. He is truly part of the Blue Note family. We look forward to celebrating ten great years this December."
Tickets for Botti's upcoming 10th Annual Holiday Residency at Blue Note Jazz Club will be available for American Express Cardmembers during an exclusive presale window beginning Wednesday, July 23, 12:00PM EDT at www.bluenotejazz.com. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning Wednesday, August 6, 12:00PM EDT at www.bluenotejazz.com.
Read the full article here at broadwayworld.com
- 24 June 2014
BY JANELLE GELFAND
Trumpeter Chris Botti’s show at Riverbend on Saturday night dazzled, from the Miles Davis arrangement of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” to his nod to Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli in “Time to Say Goodbye.” But the best moment of this high-energy display was a surprise encore, which came after the Cincinnati Pops and most of Botti’s band had left the stage.
With only his piano player, the superb Billy Childs, Botti lifted his horn in a gorgeous rendition of “My Funny Valentine.” It was the piece he had heard Miles Davis play when he was 12, which convinced him to devote his life to music. His playing was personal, intimate and warm – and showed another side to the range of his artistry.
Botti’s Riverbend show, a menu of love ballads, pop tunes and jazz standards, had listeners on their feet several times on Saturday. He’s appeared other times with the Cincinnati Pops in Music Hall, but this time, the Pops, led by John Morris Russell, played mostly back-up. Botti brought with him his band of remarkable musicians, who lent their own kind of dazzle in sophisticated arrangements.
Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” originally written as a guitar concerto, introduced Australian guitarist Ben Butler and violinist Serena McKinney, who made lovely contributions as Botti played its soaring themes. Besides his flashy technique – and there was lots of that on display on Saturday – he knew exactly how to phrase a melody for romantic effect.
There were alluring duos between Botti and McKinney in “Emmanuel” and Ennio Morricone’s love theme from “Cinema Paradiso.” (When Delta lost the violinist’s luggage on the red-eye from L.A., Downtown’s Saks outfitted her with a gown for the show, Botti noted.)
Sinatra’s “When I Fall in Love” evolved into a hot jam session, with Botti pulling from an arsenal of improvisations against some showy contributions from bassist Richie Goods.
The trumpeter muted his horn for “Flamenco Sketches,” from Davis’ “Kind of Blue” album, which traveled from the blues to a swinging showpiece. Even with a mute, which he also used in Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” he managed to communicate his distinctive, singing tone. Watching Botti’s draw-dropping feats -- glissandos, trills, tremolos and screeches into the stratosphere – gave you the feeling that he was capable of just about anything.
Born in Portland, educated at Indiana University, the 51-year-old trumpeter was an amiable host. Between numbers, he chatted about his work with Sting and Bocelli, and the time he played for Bill Clinton, when “the president stood three feet in front of the bell of my trumpet, analyzing everything.”
A soulful singer named Sy Smith joined for Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love” and other tunes, at one point scatting in perfect synch with the trumpeter. She and Botti strolled into the audience in “The Very Thought of You,” as the band cranked up the decibel level on electric guitars. Another singer, George Komsky, added an Italianate voice to “Italia,” which Botti co-wrote with the great David Foster.
Things were more white-hot after intermission. Drummer Billy Kilson, who moved and grooved all evening, was showcased at the end in a spectacular display of his personality and virtuosity. And I can’t say enough about Child’s stunning piano playing all evening. His inventive improvisations drew upon a range of styles and wide-ranging harmonies. The show’s rousing closer was Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Smith sang along with the trumpeter as the crowd stood and clapped to the music, and Botti promised to come back.
Read the full article here at cincinnati.com
- 30 April 2014
By ERIC ALAN
Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti returns to the Willamette Valley with a performance at the Hult Center in Eugene on May 1st, not far from where he grew up in Corvallis. He speaks with Eric Alan about collaborating with Mark Knopfler and Frank Sinatra, and how growing up in Corvallis helped him as a young player.
Listen to the full interview here at klcc.org