June 2nd was a beautiful night, the moon was full, and the magnificent Chris Botti (pronounced boutee) was playing his golden trumpet at the Greek Theatre. It was a perfect evening. As it turns out, Botti travels over 300 days a year, but the Greek Theatre, he says, is his favorite venue. Kristen said the same thing but it is easy to see why when the night and the music blend so beautifully together.
As is traditional with Botti concerts, he brought an array of talented artists with him, playing music across a wide spectrum of genres. He began the evening with his own incredible ensemble featuring some of the best musicians around. Pianist Geoffrey Keezer led the group with his nimble playing and was joined by Botti’s own jazz rifts.
Next up was violinist Caroline Campbell who joined Botti on several pieces, including a solo that showed off her virtuosity in the classical vein. She combined sounds with Botti on “Emmanuel” and a Chopin Prelude to produce an exquisite result.
This was followed by a section where Botti talked about the influence of Miles Davis. Botti quipped that he was the “palest trumpet player ever.” The piece he played was the magnificent Flamenco Sketches.
Next Botti featured the guitar of Uruguayan artist Leonardo Amundo, who, like Botti, showed his ability to adapt to several styles. One such work was "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.
One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of singer Lisa Fischer, who had also sung with the Rolling Stones. She sang "I love You Porgy" and "The Look of Love". Another highlight was the drum solo by Billy Kilson.
Through all this, Botti emphasized collaboration. But when he played, it was with ease and a delicate professionalism. Chris Botti performed at the Greek Theatre on June 2nd.