Chris Botti: Five Notable Collaborations

On The Corner Masthead


January 2, 2019 (originally posted January 4, 2017) | by Rusty Aceves

Chris Botti

GRAMMY-winning trumpeter Chris Botti is a major figure in contemporary music. His experience in working with great vocalists began early, when he toured with Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, and Joni Mitchell. In addition to his own records, many of which have featured a star-studded lineup of guests, Botti has had several extensive and/or particularly high profile collaborations with some of the world’s most popular singers. Here are five collaborations involving Chris Botti, before the trumpet superstar returns to SFJAZZ on January 8-13, 2019 with his all-star band.

1. Paul Simon

Early in his career, Botti spent a decade performing and recording with the legendary singer and songwriter, touring behind his smash Rhythm of the Saints album and appearing with Simon at New York’s Central Park in 1991 in a horn section also including saxophone master Michael Brecker. The performance was recorded for Simon's Concert in the Park album.

2. Sting

Botti toured with Sting in the late 1990s, and was a featured soloist on the singer’s home concert album All This Time, which was recorded on September 11, 2001. Since then, Sting has performed live with Botti and appeared on his When I Fall in LoveTo Love Again, and Chris Botti in Boston releases.

3. Andrea Bocelli

The beloved tenor performed on Botti’s GRAMMY nominated album that embraces his Italian roots, Italia. Bocelli sings the title track, composed by Botti and David Foster, and Botti in turn made a guest appearance to perform the song on Bocelli’s live album and DVD Vivere Live in Tuscany.

4. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

One of the seemingly unlikely, yet wildly successful collaborations of recent years, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga invited Botti to appear on their 2014 PBS concert film, Cheek to Cheek Live (video available here).

5. Michael Bublé

The singing superstar recorded his version of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You” with Botti on his 2005 album It’s Time, and Botti appeared on Bublé’s follow-up live session Caught in the Act, which was also filmed for PBS’ Great Performances series. Bublé returned the favor, singing “Let There Be Love” on Botti’s To Love Again release.