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May 05, 2017

Trumpeter Chris Botti wants to put you in a 'hypnotic state'

The great jazz trumpeter and composer performs Saturday night at the Merriam Theater

It’s good to be Chris Botti, and the energetic trumpet player is well aware that he’s a hot commodity.

“Things have been great,” Botti said. 

“I know how fortunate that I am.”

It’s not just about the numbers and the hardware.

The Portland, Oregon native has been the largest-selling American instrumental artist since the release of 2004’s “When I Fall in Love.” Botti has won a Grammy and four of his albums have topped the Billboard jazz albums chart. The charismatic Botti is talented, good looking and has jammed with a number of iconic recording artists.

Sting, Paul Simon, and Michael Buble are some of the luminaries who have recorded with Botti.

“Chris is incredibly talented and he’s underrated,” Buble said. 

“He’s also a really cool guy who is a blast to be around.”

Botti, 54, who will perform Saturday, May 6 at the Merriam Theater, is lighthearted and open during interviews.

When asked about how he could give up his sprawling Hollywood home two years ago for a Manhattan hotel room, Botti laughed. 

“When I decided to make that move it made total sense to me,” Botti said. “I realized that I didn’t need all of the trappings. I didn’t need the sports car or the big house with the pool. I’m on the road much of the time, so why bother with all of that. It’s all about the music anyway.”

Botti is adept at delivering, warm, catchy and stylish jazz. 

“I try to connect with songs I write, or I attempt to knock it out of the park with other people’s material. I don’t care what they’re background is, since it’s about the song.”

R. Kelly, Randy Newman, and Irving Berlin are some of the disparate songwriters Botti has covered during his enviable career.

“Why not go with the work of some of the best songwriters ever,” Botti said. “Different is good. It’s also about going for a level of excellence every time out.”

Botti is close friends with the aforementioned Sting, who leads by example. 

“Sting never settles for anything but the best,” Botti said. “He won’t finish until he’s done all that he can to make a song great.”

When the famous pals are in New York, they spend quite a bit of time together. 

 I want to blow everyone away when I perform,” Botti said. 

“I love hanging out with Sting,” Botti said. “Sting is one of the nicest guys in the business. Years ago he let me open for him and that helped me get where I am, and look at what he’s doing now. Sting is at the top of his game.”

When Sting, 65, performed at the Fillmore in March, he not only impressed as a musician, but he looks better than any of his rock star peers, who are senior citizens. The well-toned former leader of the Police looks 38.

“It isn’t fair,” Botti said. “Sting looks great. He’s good looking and in great shape. He can do whatever he wants as a musician. He is the gold standard I strive to attain.”

Botti is also all about the live show. “I want to blow everyone away when I perform,” Botti said. 

“When people come out to see me, I want to put them in a hypnotic state. Every show should be one to remember.”

For more information on Saturday night's show, click here