The trumpet, an instrument mostly known for dramatic fanfares announcing the arrival of the king, takes on a completely different tone in the hands of Chris Botti. His sound, described as dark, smooth, and round, is unlike any other, and it has made him one of the most popular jazz artists of our time.
But Botti refuses to be limited entirely to jazz. His most influential work blends genres and his greatest example of this talent was demonstrated in a PBS benefit concert titled Live in Boston. In an interview with PBS after the concert, Botti touches on how great musicians can break out of their boxes.
“We spend a lot of time in the world these days putting artists in different genres and pigeonholing them into different kinds of music – you’re a jazz musician, you’re a classical musician, you’re a rock musician, you’re this, you’re that. I think that show in Boston made it apparent that all of those artists rise above the genre placing and they just sort of operate up here and communicate rather easily.”
At this concert, Sting, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban, and Yo-Yo Ma all performed on the same stage with the Boston Pops orchestra. If you didn’t think classical music could be combined with rock n’ roll, pop, and jazz, check out the videos below to see how Botti artfully arranged these musicians to blow away all genre lines.
Others have begun to notice that genre lines are more fluid now than they were in the past. NPR
‘s article about jazz and the Grammys noted that in 2009, 27 “jazz” artists had been nominated in 13 categories other than jazz. Perhaps this means that jazz artists are just better than other musicians at crossover music. Or maybe Chris Botti is actually changing the way we appreciate and rate music. He points to a future where musicianship transcends the genre and Grammy Awards are category free.
Live Music in Steamboat – Chris Botti
The audience doesn’t care whether Botti plays classical, jazz, or pop music, they just love to see him on stage. A fellow blogger
wrote this after seeing a Chris Botti Show: “Chris is an amazing entertainer. Whether he was playing, talking to the crowd, directing the band, or bringing two young trumpet players down from the balcony to the front row, he was always in command and had the audience eating out of his hand from the first note to the last note.”