Despite being voted as one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people and having garnered praises from big names such as Oprah Winfrey, Chris Botti is still relentlessly touring and whipping out smooth and emotive pop jazz music. We sat down with this man to chat about his music and his upcoming concert.
If you were not a musician, what would you be?
I’ve never really thought about this. I guess one of the reasons I am successful is that I never gave myself a Plan B! I’m not sure what I would be if I wasn’t a musician. I wanted to be a musician since I was 11. That was the first time I heard Miles Davis play.
Besides Miles Davis, which other musician do you like?
I have a lot of influences. I like the sound of Miles’s trumpet. I’m a fan of Chet Baker and pop musicians like Sting too.
OK, what is your all-time favourite song?
Just because it’s the one I heard that got me into jazz: “My Funny Valentine” by Miles Davis.
You’ve worked with Sting, Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant, Paula Cole, Joni Mitchell and others. So which is your most memorable collaboration?
It has to be Sting. He’s been my best friend, and a big success in so many parts of the world. I toured with him during the release of his album Brand New Day, and he brought the sound of my trumpet to whole world.
Speaking of touring, we notice you gig a lot. Do you get homesick?
I don’t have a home. I feel at home on the road!
And what is it that you love most about touring?
The pride of being with this incredible band. My band members are all very well-known musicians, and it’s really an honour to get my music out, and having fans coming up to me. We’re been nominated for seven Grammys, and we’ve won four.
Your coming concert is your first in Singapore. What do you hope to achieve?
I really just want to come with my band and perform. We were fortunate to be well-received in a lot of places. After Singapore, we’re heading to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, then to New York for a couple of days and coming back to the Orient and Thailand.