By Connor Beach
Trumpeter Chris Botti spends a lot of time on the road traveling, about 250 days a year, on planes and in hotel rooms, but the Grammy Award winning musician said he has grown to understand that it’s all “part of the gig.”
“It’s isolating,” Botti, 55, said. “You’re on planes for a long time or sitting in your hotel room alone practicing, but then you get the incredible payback of being able to perform for people.”
Botti made up his mind at a young age that playing the trumpet for people was going to be his profession. The Portland, Oregon native said he started playing the trumpet in third grade, and a few years later made up his mind that we would become a professional trumpet player.
“When I first heard Miles Davis on an album, that’s when I decided that I wanted to play the trumpet for the rest of my life,” Botti said.
Botti said he was drawn to the “haunting, beautiful, brooding trumpet sound” that Davis was able to produce, and since the age of 12 he was “pretty headstrong about making music his life’s work.”
Botti has become pretty successful at his work, producing four albums that topped the Billboard charts for U.S. jazz albums, and in 2013 his album “Impressions” won the Grammy Award for “Best Pop Instrumental Album.”
The trumpeter credited much of his mainstream success to his friendship with British rock musician Sting of the Police, a friendship that Botti said continues to this day.
“I certainly don’t a career without my friendship with Sting,” Botti said. “His promise to me that he’d bring the sound of my trumpet to the world – and a lot of those people won’t know anything about jazz – was something that he did.”
In 1999, Sting invited Botti to tour with him as his opening act, an opportunity that even landed Botti a spot on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Botti’s popularity comes from his ability to play traditional jazz, as well as his versatility to blend jazz and pop sounds, a combination that he said he personally enjoys.
Botti said he doesn’t want to create just a “snobby jazz musician show.” He and his band, which includes two singers and an assortment of other musicians, also bring in other influences that he hopes will “move emotions.”
He said, “I’ve worked closely with so many different popular singers, so there’s part of me that wants to bring a show together that people can relate to if they come from that background as well.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show on July 13. Tickets range from $35.50-$74.50 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.