October 12, 1962 |
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Christopher Stephen "Chris" Botti (// BOH-tee; born October 12, 1962), is an American trumpeter and composer. In 2007, Botti was nominated for two Grammy Awards including Best Pop Instrumental Album. On December 4, 2009, he was nominated for three more Grammy Awards including Best Pop Instrumental Album and Best Long Form Music Video. Three of his albums have reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard jazz albums chart.
Early life 
He was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Corvallis and spent two years of his childhood growing up in Italy. His earliest musical influence was his mother, a classically trained pianist and part-time piano teacher.
At the age of 17, he ended up at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon by convincing his high school to allow him to fulfill his remaining senior year credits there. Botti constructed the scenario so that he could also play at Portland clubs in the evening. Mount Hood's program was headed by Larry McVey, whose band had come to be a proving ground and regular stop for Stan Kenton and Mel Tormé when they were looking for new players. It was here Botti played alongside his friend, trombonist and future Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Todd Field. After graduating from high school, Botti studied under jazz educator David Baker and trumpet professor Bill Adam at Indiana University. Botti was also the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts which allowed him to study with trumpeter Woody Shaw and saxophonist George Coleman during two consecutive summer breaks.
Early career 
In 1990, he began a decade long touring and recording relationship with Paul Simon which broadened his exposure to other singers. During that period, he also performed/recorded with Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Scritti Politti, Roger Daltrey and others.
On August 15, 1991, Botti performed with Paul Simon in New York’s Central Park as part of the The Rhythm of the Saints tour. The performance was commercially released as the Concert in the Park CD. While on tour with Simon, he met saxophonist Michael Brecker, which led to Botti producing the Brecker Brothers’ Out of the Loop. The album won a 1995 Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance.
Verve recordings (1995-2000) 
Botti's solo debut, First Wish, was released in 1995; his second effort, Midnight Without You, which included a collaboration with Blue Nile vocalist Paul Buchanan, appeared in 1997. These were followed by Slowing Down The World in 1999 which included vocal contributions from Sting and Jonatha Brooke (also on the Midnight Without You release).
In 1999, Botti was invited to tour with Sting as a featured soloist in the Brand New Day tour. The two-year run culminated in All This Time, a CD/DVD-taping and webcast performance from Sting’s estate in Tuscany on September 11, 2001. Botti attributes his relationship with Sting as having changed the course of his career.
Columbia recordings (2001-present) 
Botti was introduced to Columbia by Bobby Colomby, drummer and founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, who went on to become his producer and manager. Botti’s first Columbia release was Night Sessions in 2001. This was followed in 2002 by December, a holiday album, which included an original composition by Richard Marx. The project represented the only time Botti has performed vocals on two tracks.
When I Fall In Love followed in 2004, which featured a more traditional sound than its predecessor.
To Love Again: The Duets, released in 2005, continued where the previous album left off with more lush orchestral jazz via the London Session Orchestra, this time showcasing guest vocalists — as well as a handful of instrumental tracks.
In May 2005, Botti was invited to perform at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball weekend honoring her African American heroines. In 2006, Billy Childs, Gil Goldstein & Heitor Pereira won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" (Chris Botti & Sting) from Botti's album To Love Again - The Duets. 2006 also marked his first PBS collaboration, Chris Botti Live: With Orchestra and Special Guests, released in early 2006. The CD and platinum-certified DVD included duets with Sting, Burt Bacharach, Gladys Knight, Jill Scott and Renee Olstead.
On September 25, 2007, Botti released an album entitled Italia. The album places focus on Botti's Italian roots through such songs as "Ave Maria", "Venice", "Estatè", and the title track "Italia", on which he partnered with Andrea Bocelli. In December 2007, the album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Botti also performed the song with Bocelli during the 2007 edition of the Teatro del Silenzio, which was released on DVD titled Vivere Live in Tuscany, in 2008.
Early in 2009, Botti released his second CD/DVD PBS project, Chris Botti in Boston. Performing with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Botti shared the stage with Yo Yo Ma, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban, Katharine McPhee, John Mayer, Sting and others.
By June 2009, Chris Botti had released twelve solo albums. His first few releases are often classified as smooth jazz, though critic Alex Henderson argues that Botti's music was a cut above much of the genre; reviewing his 1999 album, Slowing Down the World, Henderson writes "it would be a major mistake to lump it in with... outright elevator muzak ... Botti is capable of a lot more." That same year as well as the following year, Botti appeared as a Pennington Great Performers series artist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
In media 
Botti was the leader of the house band on the nationally syndicated daytime talk show The Caroline Rhea Show for its only season in 2002-2003. He was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People of 2004.
For several years, Botti also hosted a radio show called Chill with Chris Botti, that focused mainly on "chill" music, which is described as "smooth jazz with a touch of cool jazz." In 2007, saxophonist Mindi Abair took over the hosting duties, and the show, using the same format as before, is now called Chill with Mindi Abair. With the success of To Love Again, Botti hosted a special concert at the Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles in December 2005 with many of the guest artists from the CD. It was recorded for airing on PBS in Spring 2006 as Chris Botti: Live with Orchestra and Special Guests, which also was released as a DVD.
Botti plays a Martin Committee large bore Handcraft trumpet made in 1939, and uses a No. 3 silver plated mouthpiece from Bach made in 1926, having recently retired his 1920 3C Bach mouthpiece. He uses a Leblanc Vacchiano Harmon mute from the 1950s.
Verve label 
Columbia label 
- Night Sessions (2001)
- The Very Best of Chris Botti (2002)
- December (2002) No. 124 US
- A Thousand Kisses Deep (2003)
- When I Fall in Love (2004) No. 37 US
- To Love Again: The Duets (2005) No. 18 US
- Live: With Orchestra and Special Guests (2006)
- Italia (2007) No. 27 US
- Chris Botti in Boston (2009) No. 13 US
- This Is Chris Botti (2011)
- Impressions (2012) No. 32 US, No. 62 CAN
See also 
- Ankeny, Jason (October 12, 1962). "(((Chris Botti > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- "50th annual Grammy Awards nominations". Variety. December 6, 2007.
- "Chris Botti at All About Jazz". Allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- Posted by Peter Böhi at January 2, 2010 12:08 PM (January 2, 2010). "Smooth Jazz Vibes: You’ve Come A Long Way - Chris Botti: From Ingénue to Jazz Crossover Music Icon". Smoothvibes.com. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- "ON STAGE IN SALINA Chris Botti | North America > United States from". AllBusiness.com. April 16, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- "About The Artist".
- "Chris Botti owes it all to another sexy superstar".
- "Thousand Kisses Deep".
- "When I Fall In Love".
- "To Love Again".
- "A Party From The Heart".
- "Grammy Awards of 2006".
- "Live: With Orchestra and Special Guests".
- "THE DOZENS: HARMON-IZED TRUMPETS".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Chris Botti|
- Official website
- Chill with Chris Botti Radio Show
- About.com Interview with Chris Botti
- Chris Botti interview with Joanna Gulbinska
- Music Man Chris Botti's Playlist - Nightline, May 29, 2009 (lists his 5 favorite musical influences)
- Oregon Art Beat: Trumpeter Chris Botti