Chris Botti – More than just a trumpeter?

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Just recently (Monday 12th of April) I had the chance to see something truly special here in Vancouver, Canada.

This was none other than Chris Botti and his Band live in Concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

To say that I was looking forward to this concert was an understatement – I bought tickets back in October 2009. At this time tickets were selling out fast too – however at the last minute I managed to snag some great seats in the front of the dress circle which couldn’t have worked out better.

The reason I am personally a fan of Chris is that he has simply put a fantastic ‘tone’ on his trumpet. That tone is maybe 30% Large Bore Committee, 60% the man himself and 10% sheer talent. From the first note I was floored with just how round, soft and fat (translation: phat) that tone he has really is. There are few people who sound better live than on CD – but this guy is one of them.

The band brought it that night also – collectively the 5 of them have a serious icing session going on top of the proverbial ‘cake’ that was the VSO Orchestra.

The show followed most of what was essentially the live Boston CD/DVD which was great. Although the structure was essentially laid out the beauty of jazz improvisation was that it takes a new form each night depending on the mood and feeling happening on stage at the time. I must admit I was really hoping that he would break out a few of his old tunes – like “A Thousand Kisses Deep” or “My Funny Valentine” but alas it was not to be.

A couple of things that happened during the show were really impressive to me was 1) at the end of the show when the Orchestra cleared the stage and people finished their standing ovation was that Chris took off his mic and played open in the hall down in the front row with just him and Billy Childs on Piano – his sound was still huge and rounded even without some of the effects that he has added through the sound system normally.

2) They spoke about bringing people (especially kids) out to live shows. It made me think back on my chance meeting or watching of some greats I had seen in the past and how it always wanted me to play better or longer – this time was no exception and was a great message for all.

The thing that is really impressive is that these guys are still on tour after 6 years of touring so far – and are playing roughly 300 ish shows a year – yikes!

After the show was great too – I was hoping to get the chance to ask him a little bit about trumpets and sound approach – but there were literally 500+ people waiting in line to see the guy after the show.

Isn’t it amazing that a guy can capture a sound and style that appeals to the masses – and he plays the trumpet of all things! (only the most awesome instrument in the world – but I digress…)

He’s like the new century ambassador of cool for young trumpet players to aspire to.

Anyhow, I still got to meet him with my wife and shake the guys hand and tell him that he was the reason I picked up the trumpet again after a long break of 4 years.  (True Story)

In essence if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have met a great bunch of people (through playing and through buying/selling) and even thought to start Trumpetgear – thus missing out on a whole bunch of experiences.

Thanks Chris!

Look forward to seeing the next show!

Now if I can just find that elusive Martin Committee I’ve been looking for………

  1. DAD says:

    well i think you have found that Martin and more to come on that later.

  2. SteveT says:

    nice music and interesting trumpet player, thanks for the introduction.. i will be rejoining the brass band scene shortly here in Auckland just so that i get enough practice and ‘push’ to lift my game.. all these inspiration from here and abroad just keep us wanting more from ourselves to meet / exceed or capability…. 🙂

  3. trumpetgear says:

    Hi Steve,
    Keep at it!!
    I once knew a guy from school in NZ who knew he wanted to become a Music Composer from the time he was about 17.
    That young guy – who was very unassuming and worked 2-3 jobs when he was young to save up for his tuition to go to Berklee University. (Top3 Music and Arts in US)
    He’s now living his dream for Real in LA.
    For an inspirational kiwi making it happen in music – check out Mark Petrie at

    As for Botti – this guy is awesome.
    If you go back a few albums and check him now – he’s progressed a lot.
    Who knows where this guy is going to head in the next 10 years.

    As for myself – waiting for my new horn to show up (UPS you’re 3 days late!) I finally managed to find a nice Martin Committee – so will be spending some time soon doing an A to B vs. the Harrelson Summit.
    More to come on this (with sound files) once I get these 2 side by side.

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