A very popular trumpeter, Chris Botti loves to caress the melodies of vintage standards and ballads. Born in Portland, Oregon in 1962, Botti started playing trumpet when he was 10. His mother, a classically trained piano teacher, was an early influence, as was his two-year stay in Italy. While in high school Botti gigged in Oregon including with bassist David Friesen. Botti attended Indiana University and after moving to New York, he had private lessons with Woody Shaw and George Coleman. Settling in New York in 1985, he worked in the studios as a session player and with pop and rock acts including Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Chaka Khan, Michael Bublé, Dave Koz, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Lorber, Rod Stewart, Burt Bacharach and others. Botti toured with Paul Simon during 1990-95 and with Sting in 2001, and was a member of the fusion group Bruford Levin Upper Extremities.
Since the mid-1990s, Chris Botti has mostly performed as a solo artist. While his initial solo recordings were in the vein of smooth or instrumental pop, his recent projects have generally found him emphasizing older ballads, bringing out the beauty of their melodies and displaying the influence of Miles Davis and Chet Baker. His sidemen have included Billy Childs and Gil Goldstein. With his long string of best-selling CDs (the most recent is Italia, a tribute to Italy and its legacy of passionate melodies), Chris Botti is the most famous pop trumpeter since Herb Alpert.