- 31 October 2013
- 15 October 2013
On Friday, October 4, The New York Pops, led by Music Director Steven Reineke, opened its 2013-2014 concert season at Carnegie Hall with special guest Chris Botti. The internationally renowned jazz trumpeter joined The New York Pops to perform a new spin on classic standards and other favorites. Check out photos from inside the special event below!
Click here to see the entire photo gallery at broadwayworld.com
- 11 March 2013
By THOR CHRISTENSEN / Special Contributor
Photo by BEN TORRES / Special Contributor
Chris Botti’s jazz trumpet chops aren’t the only reason he can fill big halls like the Meyerson Symphony Center, where he began a three-day stand on Friday night.
For starters, he’s got sex appeal and pop instincts. To put on the crass hat for a moment, Botti is the new Chuck Mangione but with much nicer hair.
But the bigger reason for Botti’s success is he dares to do what so many jazz players don’t: He entertains -- and with gusto.
Fronting his own band, Botti came off as stand-up comedian who also happens to play jazz. He peppered the show with self-deprecating quips, declared himself “the palest guy to ever play a trumpet” and mocked his own ego and quirks: He ordered two fans to move to empty chairs near center stage, confessing “I have O.C.D. with the audience.”
He was also incredibly gracious, thanking Sting and Paul Simon for hiring him early in his career, dubbing the Meyerson “the Carnegie Hall of the South” and lavishing praise on the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, a frequent partner over the years (though not for this engagement). He also raved on about his own band members, who proved they deserved it.
Pianist Geoffrey Keezer jolted several tunes with virtuosic swing. Bassist Richie Goods helped reinvent Miles Davis’ “Flamenco Sketches” with a rambunctious solo. And drummer Billy Kilson gave the show a rock ‘n’ roll edge.
Botti led fans on an engaging trip from Chopin’s “Prelude No. 20 in C Minor” to ballads like Sting’s "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" to a jazz-rock overhaul of Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love.” Just when his trumpet work got too melodramatic, he reversed course into free-form jazz or a brazen scat-and-response duet with guest singer Judith Hill.
For an encore, he trotted out “Nessun Dorma,” the Puccini tearjerker that fellow PBS star Andrea Bocelli also performs as an encore. But instead of making it his operatic swan song, Botti pulled a young woman from the crowd and had her bash away on drums for a thoroughly comic climax, complete with her extremely tall dad onstage filming the whole thing. Botti might be mainstream and proud of it, but he knows exactly when to hit a twisted note.
- 11 February 2013
To see the complete list of winners go to http://www.grammy.com/nominees
- 14 January 2013
Democrat And Chronicle
Video by Kris J. Murante
The standout trumpeter, no stranger to this city, performs this weekend with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at Eastman Theatre.
- 20 November 2012
Written by Ashley Polasek
Contributing Writer, GreenvilleOnline.com
When Chris Botti and guest vocalist Renee Olstead found themselves working through kinks in “The Very Thought of You,” a song they were performing together for the first time at their Peace Center concert Friday night, he quipped “this is really jazz.”
And was it ever.
In a concert that ranged from Chopin to Michael Jackson, trumpeter Botti’s melodic jazz style and his keen improvisational skills were at their best from his first note.
Looking ever-dapper in a three-piece suit, Botti stepped on stage and launched into a jazzy tune, filling the hall with a wonderful robust tone. He showcased his seemingly endless stamina as he soared, rocked and wailed his way through a two-hour set of expertly-arranged tunes.
Musical variety is the hallmark of Botti’s concerts and he didn’t disappoint, creating a set that seamlessly ran the gamut between jazz, pop, rock and classical.
The ethereal “Love Theme” from the Italian film “Cinema Paradiso,” a jazz-infused version of Chopin’s “Prelude in C Minor” and a touching rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” were all the more pleasing for being unexpected.
Botti took the stage with an intimate band of five that would have been as at-home in a nightclub as they were in the Peace Center’s Concert Hall. Each of the musicians took solos that highlighted an incredible range of talent.
Pianist Billy Childs and bassist Richie Goods contributed particularly dazzling fleet-fingered solos, during a tribute to Miles Davis’ “Flamenco Sketches.”
Versatile guitarist Leonardo Amuedo thrilled the crowd with solos that ranged from a soulful caress to a hard-charging version of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.”
In addition to Olstead, the concert also featured guest violinist Caroline Campbell.
Campbell accompanied the band on several numbers, rendering a particularly powerful and heartbreaking duet, “Emmanuel,” with Botti. She also took the stage and let loose on a virtuosic, screaming solo number that earned roars of delight, and a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.
Olstead, who was joining this tour for the first time, sang with a sensuous sophistication well beyond her 23 years. She provided touching and intimate vocals, but really wowed the crowd when she and Botti expertly scatted together on “The Look of Love.” Olstead even taking control of the valves of Botti’s trumpet while he played pealing runs and she harmonized.
The concert ended on a heartwarming note as Botti invited a 10-year-old girl from the audience on stage to provide the swelling cymbal roll in the band’s encore number, “Nessun Dorma,” the beloved aria from Puccini’s opera “Turnadot.”
It was a touching end to an evening of superb and joyous music.