San Francisco’s Symphony Hall will swing to the sound jazz trumpeter, Chris Botti, this weekend, as he and his band perform a selection of holiday hits and firm favorites, with conductor Richard Kaufman and the San Francisco Symphony.
The program features material from Chris Botti’s new album, ‘Impressions’ – including pieces by Chopin, Gershwin, Harold Arlen, R Kelly, Randy Newman, Bob Thiele and David Weiss, Ivan Lins, Astor Piazzolla and Cesar Portillo de la Luz. In addition to standards such as ‘What a Wonderful World’, ‘Summertime’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’, there are songs co-written by Botti with Herbie Hancock and Davis Foster.
It was a performance by Myles Davies of ‘My Funny Valentine’ which persuaded Chris Botti – at the age of 12 – that the trumpet was to become his future. He studied at Indiana University with jazz educator David Baker, trumpet teacher Bill Adam, jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw and jazz saxophonist George Coleman.
A move to New York during the 80s gave him exposure to some of the great names of jazz – the Buddy Rich Big Band, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole and Joni Mitchell, and during the 90s and the early part of this century, Botti played extensively with Paul Simon, and enjoyed a particularly creative association with Sting. “Those gigs – and those relationships,” he says, “were powerful learning experiences …… I wouldn’t be the performer I am today without that background.”
Now a major artist in his own right, performing worldwide, and with solo album sales in excess of three million, Chris Botti has thoroughly established himself as one of the important, innovative figures of the contemporary music world, and recently completed a tour with Barbra Streisand.
On ‘Impressions’ Chris Botti is joined by artists Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler, David Foster and Caroline Campbell. His impressive line-up of albums – ‘When I Fall In Love’, ‘To Love Again’, ‘Italia’, and the CD/DVD ‘Chris Botti In Boston’ – a fistful of Grammy nominations, and three No 1 albums on Billboard’s Jazz Albums listings, have firmly established him as the world’s largest selling jazz instrumentalist.
Conductor Richard Kaufman has appeared with performers such as John Denver, Andy Williams, the Beach Boys, Peter Paul and Mary, and Art Garfunkel, and recorded with a line-up of artists which includes Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, The Carpenters and Ray Charles. From 1984, as music coordinator for MGM Studios, he supervised music for film and television – a position he held for the following 18 years. He is Principal Pops Conductor of Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, and is currently in his eighth season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s series ‘Friday Night at the Movies’.
Chris Botti and his band perform with the San Francisco Symphony on Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1 at 7.30 pm at Davies Symphony Hall. He will sign CDs in the Symphony Store immediately following each performance.
Tickets are available at sfsymphony.org, by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, San Francisco.
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