Trumpet star returns to the Schermerhorn

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 4:35pm
Chris Botti

Trumpeter Chris Botti, one of the mainstays in a genre known as “chill music,” returns to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for a one-night-only engagement with the Nashville Symphony June 9 at 7 p.m.

Albert-George Schram will be the conductor for this special event, and tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. They range from $37.50 to $87.50. Botti’s last appearance at the Schermerhorn two years ago was a sellout.

Botti’s blend of crisp, elegant melodic statements and sophisticated, sparse solos have won him fans in every sector of the jazz world. “Chill” is a combination of smooth jazz influences and the more elaborate harmonies of the cool style popularized in the ‘50s by two of Botti’s biggest influences, Miles Davis and Chet Baker.

Botti has retained his jazz credibility despite a host of collaborations and crossovers with pop, R&B and rock stars like Sting, Josh Groban, Chaka Khan and Jill Scott. At one time he also was a member of the adventurous fusion ensemble Bruford Levin Upper Extremities.

However Botti’s also done many dates with orchestras and projects with classical and opera artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Andrea Bocelli. His choice of gear gets nearly as much attention as his playing. He recently retired a vintage 1923 mouthpiece, and plays a classic Martin Committee Handcrafted trumpet from 1940 with an equally famous three silver-plated mouthpiece from 1926.

Botti’s stylish look and on-stage flair have led to several television and film opportunities, among them a one-year stint heading the house band on The Caroline Rhea Show and several public television specials.

Botti’s issued 12 discs, the latest being Chris Botti in Boston. His 2007 disc Italia, a celebration of his Italian heritage, was nominated for a Best Instrumental Pop Grammy. Tickets for the show