By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Chris Botti ranks as one of the world’s most recognizable and popular instrumentalists. His expressive sound and technical mastery of the trumpet have been featured on several specials for PBS, something that’s made him an international celebrity. But he’s perhaps best known for his work with symphony orchestras, and he’s coming to town for appearances with the Nashville Symphony November 29 and 30 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
There remains an debate regarding whether Botti is truly a jazz musician, even though he frequently appears in jazz clubs and will be headlining at the Blue Note throughout December, and then will begin 2023 playing dates with SF Jazz. But his albums are usually more pop-oriented, and don’t feature standards or traditional jazz group lineups. Still, few play melodies more beautifully, and his range really gets showcased in his work with orchestras.
Botti’s fame soared with the 2004 LP “When I Fall In Love.” He’s had four albums top the jazz charts, and the list of greats with whom he’s recorded or worked include Sting, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Bublé, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Andrea Bocelli, Joshua Bell, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Frank Sinatra. Prior to the pandemic he was also among the world’s most prolific tour artists, sometimes doing as many as 300 dates a year.
Nashville Vince Gill was among the legends who joined Botti on his 2012 LP “Impressions,” both a chart-topper and Grammy winner. Others who appeared included Andrea Bocelli, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler, and David Foste. It’s arguably his finest release.
He’ll no doubt do songs from it and his other hit releases during his Nashville Symphony gigs next week.
Chris Botti with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at the Schermerhorn, 1 Symphony Place, November 29 and 30, 2022.