CHRIS BOTTI FACTS:
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Albums: First Wish, Midnight Without You, Slowing Down the World, Night Sessions, The Very Best of Chris Botti, December
When you think of pop music over the last 20 years, chances are you don't think of trumpet players. Not since the days of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis has a brass virtuoso captured the attention of anybody outside of jazz. However, the fact is Chris Botti has been of the most popular musicians since the early '90s, and he enjoys a loyal following, all thanks to his skills with the trumpet.
Botti got an early start on his career and was a talented musician from a very young age. By the time he left Indiana University, he had already performed at Carnegie Hall, and soon developed a professional relationship with Paul Simon. Though he performed and recorded with a number of famous acts, including The Who's Roger Daltry, Aretha Franklin and Joni Mitchell, it was Simon with whom he had the longest partnership. He toured extensively with Simon, and was featured on the CD release of his Central Park concert, recorded in 1991.
Thanks to his time with Paul Simon, Botti quickly made connections in the music world and even teamed up with saxophonist Michael Brecker to record the 1994 jazz album Out of the Loop, which won Botti his first Grammy. Over the next several years, Botti became attached to another giant in the music world - Sting. Throughout much of the late '90s and into the early 2000s, he performed with the former Police frontman, and credits him with starting him down the path to a successful solo career.
Though he rose to fame as a featured soloist and accompanist to many popular singers, Chris Botti soon reached new levels of fame in his own right among jazz fans. His 2001 album Night Sessions put him on the map, and 2002's holiday album December cemented his place in the jazz and pop worlds. The album A Thousand Kisses Deep was released in 2004 and included a number of popular hits such as his versions of the jazz standards "Indian Summer" and "My Funny Valentine."
Since then, Botti has continued to impress with his chops. The 2007 album Italia was a critical favorite and again featured favorites from yesteryear. Some of the most popular tracks included the Fred Astaire classic "The Way You Look Tonight" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" from My Fair Lady.
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