Renowned trumpeter and Grammy Award winning instrumentalist, Chris Botti graced the Orpheum stage tonight in a performance that had everyone on their feet during both ends of the intermission.
Together with his talented core ensemble—a pianist, drummer, guitarist, and bass player—backed up by the skilled performers from the VSO, conducted by VSO Assistant Conductor Gordon Gerrard, along with three special guests—virtuoso violinist Caroline Campbell, and female vocalist Sy Smith, and male vocalist George Komsky—Botti performed a variety of selections from a vast repertoire consisting primarily of jazz classics and mellow smooth jazz favorites.
Botti performed several classic Miles Davis’ arrangements, among others, to a full house of enthusiastic jazz fans. Botti allowed each member of his ensemble—and his three special guests—to shine during generous solos, giving the headline trumpet player the occasional break at the same time as providing value-added entertainment for the audience who clearly came to hear a diverse concert with talented performers, foot-tapping rhythms, and familiar melodies. They got what they came to hear.
Botti more than lived up to his reputation as both a fine jazz trumpeter and generous presenter of fellow talented musicians whom he brought along with him. Smith’s vocals nearly stole the show, but Campbell’s violin skills also entranced the audience. Komsky stood out during his performance of “Italia,” an original song composed by Botti and British Columbia-native, the preeminent Hollywood musical producer, David Foster, in a solo intended for Andrea Bocelli.
But despite the diversity, there is no question Botti remained in control of the entire evening’s musical content in a well-crafted, audience-pleasing performance that left everyone happy at the end.