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Chris, along with Shane and Jon, perform at Myrtle Edwards Park,
July 4, 2003, Seattle, WA © 2003 Margie Maddox

Fireworks in Seattle
Celebrants at the 39th Annual Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s Independence Day festival were witness to not only a great fireworks display, but also hot performance by Chris and the band. Myrtle Edwards Park on Seattle’s waterfront was the setting for this day of music and festivities.

Just as the sun was about to disappear behind some clouds, the Botti Band took the stage. The stage was bathed in a warm golden glow that created the perfect ambience for the evening’s first song, When I Fall in Love .

Hundreds of audience members, on blankets or folding chairs, with food and drink by their side, settled in for this just under 90-minute show. Hundreds more were strolling by on a walking path just off the side of the stage. Every time the band would start a new song, the strolling crowd would stop. Some interesting traffic jams were created!

Chris was joined by Shane Fontayne (guitar), Jon Ossman (bass), Karen Teperberg (drums) and Wayne Linsey (keyboards). They played a selection of songs off the Night Sessions CD and some older favorites off Slowing Down the World and Midnight Without You .

A really hot version of Regroovable ended the evening’s show. This song seemed a fitting end to the set. The crowd was up and moving—starting the countdown to finale of the evening—Jeff Kashiwa (a Seattle native) and then fireworks.

For some lucky music lovers, who were at the right place (a waterfront hotel), at the right time (just before midnight)—a jam session that included Chris Botti, Wayne Linsey and saxaphonist Jeff Kashiwa. It was quick (four songs) and a really great way to end a really great day! ( July 4, 2003 )

A young fan gets an autograph from Chris at Myrtle Edwards Park,
July 4, 2003, Seattle , WA ©2003 Margie Maddox


Jon Ossman plays to the crowd at the Majestic Theatre,
June 27, 2003, Dallas, TX ©2003 Margie Maddox

Chris and band in Dallas
The Majestic Theatre has been holding court over Dallas’ entertainment for nearly a century. On this warm summer evening, two of the jazz worlds brightest stars, Chris Botti and Brian Culbertson, came together to bring their own style of music to the jazz fans of Dallas.

Brian Culbertson opened the evening with a nearly hour-long set of high-energy music. The band that Culbertson brought to Dallas included his dad on trumpet and saxman Michael Lington.

With the audience properly ‘warmed’ up, Chris took the stage with band members Jon Ossman (guitar), Marc Shulman (bass), Karen Teperberg (drums) and Wayne Linsey (keyboards).

Chris and company opened with When I Fall in Love and followed up with several more songs off of the Night Sessions CD. One of the highlights of the evening was the Botti/Linsey rendition of My Funny Valentine . Linsey’s piano solo during this song brought a hush to the audience, followed by thunderous applause.

After the show, Chris and Brian made their way to the lobby of this beautiful theatre to sign autographs, take pictures and chat with fans. The ‘buzz’ of the evening? People making plans to see another Botti show in a couple of weeks, this time in Houston. ( June 27, 2003 )

Karen Teperberg during another amazing drum solo at the
Majestic Theatre, June 27, 2003, Dallas, TX
©2003 Margie Maddox


Chris surprises one young jazz fan with her own serenade at the
U.S. Bank St. Louis Jazz Festival, June 20, 2003, Clayton, MO,
©2003 Margie Maddox

Chris and the band sizzle at the St. Louis Jazz Festival
Perfect weather, warm spirits and great fun were the flavors of the day at the U.S. Bank St. Louis Jazz Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on June 20, 2003. Chris Botti sizzled as he took the main Emerson stage at 5:30 p.m. in Shaw Park. Greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, Botti opened the show with When I Fall In Love . Next on the set was Lisa . Much to the delight of the crowd, a hot rendition of Miami Overnight was to follow.

The solos were spectacular throughout the show. Marc Shulman on guitar was in fine form as he wowed the crowd throughout various songs. His energy level was outstanding and Botti’s ability to let him flow was equally amazing. As he took command of the drums, Keith Carlock left everyone breathless during more than one moment of the show. (This was Keith’s last performance before going back on tour with Steely Dan.)

Once again, Chris shared his sad tale of love lost, as he began Alone in the City . And again, Harvey Jones couldn’t help himself, as he chimed in about the gal who broke his heart. After thinking on the subject ever so briefly, Harvey managed to roll off a few more names. The audience laughed when the list was revisited with impeccable timing throughout the show.

Playing masterfully on Easter Parade , Harvey and Chris left the crowd silent in awe. Watching Jon Ossman on bass was pure delight, as he continually plucked out funky grooves all evening long. A couple of youngsters found themselves being serenaded by Chris at the last part of the set. The look on one little girl’s face was that of total adoration, as she swayed in time to the band’s rhythm.

Botti wove a tapestry of brilliant hues, as he highlighted various songs from his Night Sessions CD. Why Not from the Slowing Down the World CD was a flawless work of perfection. The standing ovation at the end of this show speaks for itself. ( June 20, 2003 )

Chris and Harvey perform Easter Parade for the crowd at the
U.S. Bank St. Louis Jazz Festival, June 20, 2003, Clayton, MO,
©2003 Margie Maddox


Chris wins National Smooth Jazz Award
Chris was voted the winner in three categories:

*Male Artist of the Year
*Album of the Year- Night Sessions
*Brass Player of the Year

Congratulations Chris!
( June 18, 2003 )

Bottiology caught up with Chris on Friday at the St. Louis concert and he asked us to convey his heartfelt thanks regarding last week's National Smooth Jazz Awards announcement (Brass Player of the Year, Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year):

"I want to extend a very special thank you to all of you for taking the time to vote for me. I am honored and thrilled to have been given these awards. Thanks again for supporting me and my music. I would also like to extend my thanks to Kipper, the producer on Night Sessions, and to Caroline Rhea for her friendship and for helping me bring my music to an even wider audience over the past several months. I look forward to seeing all of you on tour this summer.!



( June 21, 2003 )


Chris joins Dave Koz and Friends tour
Dave Koz is set to start his 2003 tour in October. Dave will be joined by Chris Botti , Marc Antoine and Jeff Lorber.
The following dates are the first to be confirmed:

10.04.2003 Thornton Winery, Temecula, CA
10.05.2003 Thornton Winery, Temecula, CA
10.10.2003 Sunset Station, Las Vegas, NV
10.11.2003 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
10.12.2003 S.B. Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA

These are the first confirmed dates. Other dates will be listed as they become confirmed.


Wayne Linsey delights the crowd with his keyboard playing at the
Hyatt Newporter, May 17, 2003, Newport Beach, CA
© 2003 Margie Maddox

Jazz fans arrive early!
Newport Beach California again played host to the
WAVE’S Hyatt Newporter Jazz Festival. This three-day
event brought Chris and the band in early on Saturday
afternoon. If you arrived much past 10:00 a.m., parking
was already at capacity and long lines to get in had

already formed.

By the time that Chris and the band took the stage just after 12:30 p.m., the seating and lawn areas were almost
to capcity. Southern California jazz fans seemed anxious to get their day of jazz started!

The “West Coast band”, made up of Jon Ossman (bass)
Karen Teperberg (drums), Wayne Linsey (keyboards) and
Oz Noy (guitar) started their set with When I Fall in Love .
Having warmed up the crowd on a cooler-than-usual Southern California day, the band brought them to their
feet with Streets Ahead .

During the one hour set, Chris made his usual jump off
the stage to serenade a lucky audience member. Chris
also wandered through the VIP section much to the
delight of the crowd.

Judging from the applause level, this group was happy
they made the early morning trek to Newport Beach!
( May 17,2003 )

Chris wanders through the audience to serenade lucky audience
members at the Hyatt Newporter,May 17, 2003,Newport Beach,
CA © 2003 Margie Maddox


Euge Groove (left) joins Chris on Blue Horizon . Thornton Winery,
May 4, 2003, Temecula, CA. ©2003 Sophia Dilberakis

Chris returns to Thornton winery
Colder than expected temperatures in Temecula, didn’t dampen the spirits of concertgoers who filled all of the outdoor folding chairs at Thornton Winery, Sunday,
May 4th.

Attendees might have been a little chilled, however, they were quickly warmed up by the high-energy show put on by Chris and band. First, the crowd was treated to an energetic opening performance by Euge Groove. The talented saxophonist turned up the burners as he strolled into the audience and wailed away with his trademark grooves.

With the guitar spot occupied by Shane Fontayne, Chris took the stage playing Hallelujah from his December CD. As was the case seven months earlier at the October Thornton Winery performance, the sound system was a little uncooperative during the opening number. With sound problems quickly resolved, Chris and band went on to play beautifully, much to the delight of the crowd—many of whom had a wine glass in hand.

Show highlights included an invitation by Chris for Euge to join him on Funny Valentine and Blue Horizon . In a gesture of musician-to-musician camaraderie, Chris held out his own microphone (attached to his trumpet) toward Euge’s sax for maximum sound amplification.

Another show highlight was Shane’s vocal and guitar performance of Marlene off of his own, recently-released CD— What Nature Intended . (Chris performs on four tracks on Shane’s CD, including Marlene .) Also, noteworthy was Wayne Linsey sitting in on keyboards. And as usual, there were stellar performances by regular band members Jon Ossman (bass) and Karen Teperberg (drums).
( May 4, 2003 )

Karen Teperberg warms up the skins during sound check.
Thornton Winery, May 4, 2003, Temecula, CA.
©2003 Sophia Dilberakis


Jon Ossman during one of his guitar solos at the Jacksonville
Jazz Festival, April 12, 2003, Jacksonville, FL
©2003 Margie Maddox

Chris and the band play Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Is there a better way to spend a spring break? Florida sunshine, great music and Chris Botti. Metropolitan Park in downtown Jacksonville Florida was one of the venues that played host to the performers at this year’s festival. Chris and the band took the stage in the early afternoon on Saturday to a very receptive crowd of jazz music enthusiasts. It was clear that many were there specifically to hear Chris!

Chris was joined on stage by regulars Harvey Jones (keyboards) and Jon Ossman (bass). Keith Carlock (drums), having played with the band during the East Coast shows earlier this year, was joined by first-timer Oz Noy (guitar). The two newcomers delighted the audience with their respective drum and guitar solos.

During the just-over-an-hour set, Chris made two trips out into the audience to serenade lucky audience members. He noted that this was the most sun that he had gotten this year! After the show, Chris made his usual jaunt out into the audience to sign CD’s, take pictures and chat with fans, new and old. It was noted by many happy fans that Chris spent more time at this “meet and greet” than he spent on stage that afternoon. No one left disappointed!
( April 12, 2003 )

Drummer Keith Carlock at the Jacksonville Jazz
Festival, April 12, 2003, Jacksonville, FL
© 2003 Margie Maddox


Chris during sound check at McCallum Theatre, February 8, 2003,
Palm Desert, CA, ©2003 Margie Maddox

Surprise in the desert
Palm Desert's McCallum Theatre played host to the first Botti Band gig of the new year. Chris and the band made the trek out to this desert community and were greeted with a sold-out crowd. The 1,127-seat theatre was filled with jazz fans eager to see the latest show in the "Fitz's Jazz Café" series, an annual event at the theatre.

Chris was joined by regular band members Jon Ossman
and Karen Teperberg. Shane Fontayne and John Beasley (sitting in for Harvey Jones) also played in this first west coast gig.

When I Fall in Love started the evening's show along with one big surprise for the crowd. Guitarist Shane Fontayne wowed the audience when he performed a song from his new CD, What Nature Intended. The song, Marlene ,
features Shane on vocals and displaying his amazing guitar work. (Chris does trumpet duty on this track and two others on Shane's new CD). For many audience members, this was their first time hearing Shane sing! Judging from the response, the performance was enthusiastically received. (For more info on Shane's CD visit:

The evening ended with Chris spending nearly two hours, after the show, signing CD's, posing for pictures and chatting with many happy fans. Shane also joined
Chris in the lobby of the McCallum Theatre to sign his new CD and chat with the many new fans that were made that evening. ( February 8, 2003 )

Shane singing Marlene to the crowd at the McCallum Theatre,
February 8, 2003, Palm Desert, CA. ©2003 Margie Maddox


Chris and Tariqh Akoni during sound check at the Lobero Theatre,
February 1, 2003. ©2003 Margie Maddox

Chris in Santa Barbara
What could be better than Chris Botti, Craig Chaquico, Patti Austin, Santa Barbara and raising money for charity? Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre played host to "A Night of Jazz" charity concert benefiting the local Endowment for Youth Committee. This sold out show brought together these three great artists for a night of great music and a lot of fun.

Guitarist Tariqh Akoni assembled an amazing band to back up the evening's guest performers, who came to the Lobero without their own bands. First to take the stage was Craig Chaquico, former Jefferson Starship guitarist. He played a high-energy, 30-minute set that had the audience on their feet and clapping.

Next, Chris took the stage and started the set with his beautiful rendition of Hallelujah (from his December CD). It was truly a roller coaster ride for the audience. Chris brought a more jazzy, laid back feel to his set. He treated the audience to several songs off the Night Sessions CD, his version of My Funny Valentine and ended with Regroovable . With the audience back on their feet it was time for Patti Austin.

The audience seemed a bit confused at this point. Ms. Austin did not break out into song until about ten minutes into her set. She instead entertained the audience with a stand-up comedy act! Finally gave the audience what they had come to hear--her great voice.

This Lobero audience seemed to really enjoy the performers gathered together for this show It was a warm sunny day in Santa Barbara. The music was great and money was raised for a good cause. What could be better? ( February 1, 2003 )

Chris with Craig Chaquico (right) and KMGQ Radio host Mark Deanda
(center) before the Lobero show, February 1, 2003, Santa Barbara, CA
©2003 Margie Maddox


Chris joins Caroline Rhea show
Chris Botti will be appearing on the Caroline Rhea show from now until late April. Effective with the Tuesday, January 14th show, he will be appearing on a “regular basis” for all but the last month of the current TV season.
For ticket information:

( January 13, 2003 )


Chris at Micro Exchange booth, CES,
January 10, 2003, Las Vegas, NV. ©2003 Margie Maddox

Chris plays to several crowds at CES
Visitors to the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were treated to something new this year—the sound of Chris Botti playing the trumpet in the south hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Micro Exchange of Dallas, TX brought Chris to Las Vegas to help promote its booth at this year’s show. Playing for about 15 minutes every couple of hours, Chris drew crowds to the booth with selected songs from Night Sessions , Slowing Down the World and Midnight Without You . ( January 10, 2003 ).

Chris with Ray Burris, former major league pitcher,
CES, January 10, 2003, Las Vegas, NV.
©2003 Margie Maddox


Karen Teperberg wearing her New Year's hat at the
Pleasure Island Jazz Company Club, December 31.2002, Orlando, FL,
©2002 Margie Maddox

New Year’s Eve on Pleasure Island
Chris and the band delighted the New Year’s revelers
with three amazing shows. The evening started out very
windy and wet. Many partiers who had intended to be
outside for the B-52’s and Joan Jett came inside the
Pleasure Island Jazz Company Club and seemed delighted at the music they found.

The day started very early for Chris, who appeared on a
local Orlando television show to promote the evening’s
festivities. The evening would include three one-hour shows
—9:15 p.m., 10:45 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.. Fireworks were
also scheduled for stroke of midnight.

The band started out the first set with When I fall in Love and followed up with many of the songs that regular Botti Band fans are accustomed to hearing. Chris joked that he was not sure how they would get through the three sets, because the band only knew seven songs!

The second set brought Jon Ossman to the microphone to sing Midnight Without You . Several attendees at the first show had such a great time that they stayed for the second and third show—much to the dismay of those standing outside hoping to get in.

With the break between the second and third show at hand and midnight fast approaching, the band was able to take a quick break and duck outside and watch the fireworks (accompanied by rain) with friends who had traveled to Orlando to help usher in the new year.

Back on stage just after midnight, the band played encore
performances of Regroovable, Light the Stars and Lisa . Many of the audience members who came in the jazz club just to escape the bad weather left new fans of Chris’s music. For those who made the journey to Pleasure Island, it was a memorable way to celebrate the start of 2003. ( December 31, 2002 )

Jon Ossman sings Midnight Without You to the crowd at the
Pleasure Island Jazz Company Club, December 31, 2002, Orlando, FL,
©2002 Margie Maddox


Chris and Jeff Lorber at the King Cat Club, December 14, 2002,
Seattle, WA © 2002 Margie Maddox

Holiday music jazz style!
Keyboardist Jeff Lorber and saxman Gerald Albright
were joined by Chris Botti to bring the sound of the holidays to the Pacific Northwest. First stop on their mini tour was Seattle’s King Cat Club. It was a typical cold and rainy day in Seattle, but the enthusiasm of the 300-plus concert goers was not dampened by the weather.

Lorber started the evening by telling everyone that the beautiful music they would be listening to that evening were arrangements from Chris’ holiday CD December . With that said, they started the evening’s music with The Christmas Song . The crowd was treated to many brass duets between Botti and Albright. They didn’t seem to mind several sound problems that plagued the evening’s show. On several occasions, Chris stopped mid note to look down at his monitor and tell the audience that there must be a poltergeist living there.

Judging from the enthusiastic response at the end of the show and the large number of people that stopped to talk with Chris and have him sign their CD’s, there were many happy jazz fans in Seattle that evening. ( December 14, 2002 )

Chris and Gerald Albright at the King Cat Club, December 14, 2002,
Seattle WA © 2002 Margie Maddox


Show your support for Chris!
The Caroline Rhea Show is providing an opportunity for
all of his fans to ask a question of Chris. Just go to:

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the form
to tell Caroline how you feel about Chris and pose your question. No guarantees that it will be answered, but it is
a great way to show your support for Chris and maybe get an on-air response.
Good luck!
(December 10, 2002)


The autographed Bachs Selmer TR300-H Trumpet auctioned on ebay.

Signed trumpet fetches $$
A Chris Botti autographed trumpet was auctioned-off today for $515 on ebay. Chris signed the trumpet for Sony (who posted the auction) a couple of weeks ago while in New York. A portion of the net proceeds from the autographed Bachs Selmer TR300-H Trumpet will be donated to The Kristen Ann Carr Fund and Musicians On Call. A total of 18 bids were received before bidding closed. ( November 24, 2002 )


Botti included in jazz reference book
The just released (October 2002) All Music Guide to Jazz--4th Edition features references to more than 1,700 jazz musicians and 18,000 recordings. Included is a section on Chris Botti which gives an overview of his career and reviews of some of his solo projects.

The guide--which is just under 1,500 pages--is a must-have reference tool for any jazz aficionado. ( November 25, 2002 )


Chris opens the West Coast All Stars show at the
Oxnard Performing Arts Center, November 9, 2002,
Oxnard, CA. ©2002 Margie Maddox

Chris journeys solo up CA coastline
Huge waves crashed along the rocks below the Pacific Coast Highway and the rain from the first winter storm washed rocks and mud down from the hills. Regardless of the weather, the farming city of Oxnard located an hour north of Los Angeles, stood ready to welcome (for the first time ever) Chris Botti and several other smooth jazz artists. The performers were branded, if only for the evening, as the West Coast All Stars. The Oxnard Performing Arts Center held 1,604 seats, most of which were occupied by locals starved for jazz music. The event was being recorded for a live CD and DVD, adding to the evening's excitement.

The large stage was cluttered with equipment belonging to about 15 musicians, all appearing at one time or another during the two-hour plus show. A thick, dry-ice fog hung above the stage, giving the lights an eerie golden glow. A husky offstage voice recited a long introduction about the creation of the world and the importance of music. “Music is color you see with your ears,” the voice boomed. And then the West Coast All Stars took the stage, playing a mixture of jazz, funk and hip-hop.

Chris was introduced early in the show and began with Lisa , accompanied by the All Stars. He followed with a jazzy version of Why Not off his Slowing Down the World CD. He clearly enjoyed the challenge of playing with a new group of musicians and walked around the stage, playing to the keyboard player, the drummers in the back of the stage and to the audience. His laughter illustrated the fun he was having with the group.

After a brief intermission, the funky divas of En Vogue excited the crowd with a few numbers off their latest album. Tom Scott, the talented multi-reed player, followed with a fabulous performance on saxophone, playing his song Just a Little off his latest album New Found Freedom .

Next on the stage was the amazing South African vocalist and guitarist Jonathan Butler. He played Wake Up , a selection off his 25th CD, Surrender , just released. His acoustic guitar artistry was inspiring and had the whole crowd on its feet for the first time that evening. He continued with a soulful rendition of a Bob Marley standard called No Woman, No Cry which delighted the audience. Chris joined Tom Scott in the horn section during the performance.

Saxophonist Eric Marienthal finally arrived toward the end of the show, straight from Las Vegas, where he had just finished performing earlier in the day. His travel had been delayed by the storms. Even though Chris had to catch a very early flight to the East Coast the following morning, he graciously stayed until the very end of the show and joined Eric on stage to perform Stanley Turrentine’s Sugar with Eric, just as he had done with Jeff Lorber on Eric’s CD Turn Up the Heat. It was an evening of magical performances that Oxnard will be talking about for quite awhile. ( November 9, 2002 )

Chris joins veteran jazz artists during the West Coast
All Stars show, November 9, 2002, Oxnard, CA. ©2002 Margie Maddox


Shane, Jon and Chris perform at Sycuan Casino,
November 7, 2002, El Cajon, CA. © 2002 Margie Maddox

Sycuan Casino plays host to Botti Band
The smoky haze and the jingle of hundreds of slot machines were telltale signs that the venue for Chris’s Thursday night show was not a normal California concert hall. In fact, the show was held on the Sycuan Reservation, about 30 miles east of San Diego, so California’s smoking and gambling laws did not apply. Above the din on the casino floor was the Showcase Theater, a 456-seat arena well suited for an intimate performance by Chris and the Botti band; not surprisingly, the show had sold out several weeks before. Karen Teperberg and Jon Ossman appeared well rested, coming off a short break after their East Coast tour and “the Ambassador” Shane Fontayne rejoined the band after a month-long absence. Sitting in for Harvey Jones was John Beasley. Also no stranger to the group, he was last seen playing with the Botti band at the Chronicle Pavilion show in Concord in August. ( News, August 17, 2002 )

The audience gave Chris a warm welcome as he walked onstage, dressed in his dark blue Prada suit and white linen shirt. He launched right into When I Fall In Love , followed by several songs off Night Sessions , which he called his latest CD by sheer force of habit. He quickly followed up his slip, saying that it actually wasn’t his most recent release, but he’d get to more on that in a minute.

The crowd was already loosening up; just as Chris was about to start another song, someone from the audience yelled out “Hey, nice suit!” He laughed shyly and admitted that it was a Prada suit, but added that he did get it at the Prada outlet just outside of Milan.

Leading into Hallelujah , which had not been performed in more than a month due to Shane’s absence, Chris mentioned his new holiday CD December . He told the audience he didn’t really feel comfortable playing any of the holiday tunes that night and asked if it wasn’t hard for everyone to get into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. “Not when we listen to your new CD,” someone from the crowd shot back. Chris and Shane went on to play a beautiful version of the song with Jon joining in on bass.

After a very jazzy rendition of My Funny Valentine by Chris and John Beasley on keyboards, Chris gave the band a short rest by telling an extended version of his sad story of the lost love which inspired Alone in the City . He described the noise he heard every night from his tiny apartment in the meatpacking district of New York City (comparing it to a scene straight out of Bladerunner ). He continued on about how his girlfriend had just left him the night before and of watching the huge snowstorm blanket the city accompanied by a hush over Manhattan. Chris jumped off the stage and strolled half way back into the audience to serenade a lucky couple. The venue’s lighting technicians had a hard time keeping up with Chris and he played half the song in the dark before the spotlight finally found him.

As usual, Chris stayed after the show to autograph CDs and meet some of his fans, although ringing slot machines were a new backdrop for him. Once the line of fans dwindled down, Chris was presented with a glass bowl filled with Bottiology contest entries for a personalized autographed copy of December . With much fanfare, Chris drew the names of the three lucky winners and duly personalized the CDs. With that done, Chris was off to Oxnard, the next stop on this weekend visit to Southern California. ( November 7, 2002 )

Chris performing at Sycuan Casino,
November 7, 2002, El Cajon, CA. © 2002 Margie Maddox


Chris plays Easter Parade to an enthusiastic crowd. October 25, 2002, Chicago, IL. ©2002 Margie Maddox

Fourplay with Chris Botti, Chicago style
Devoted Chris Botti fans had been looking forward to the October 25th Chicago show for months and the day had finally arrived. The close-to-sold-out, 3,605-seat Chicago Theatre would be one of the largest venues the band would play in all year. Its location in the center of the country made it ideal for fan pilgrimages from both coasts and many states in between. The venue also brought back warm memories for Chris who had played Chicago Theatre with Sting in December 1999 at the beginning of the Brand New Day tour. (Evidence of that tour was left in the way of a caricature of Sting’s band drawn on a backstage wall by guitarist Dominic Miller.)

Sponsored by WNUA, Chicago’s smooth radio jazz station, the show also featured jazz super group Fourplay. Additionally, the station was promoting the release of its Smooth Jazz CD Sampler Volume 15, benefiting Cares for Kids charities.

Chris, elegantly dressed in his brown Dolce & Gabbana pinstriped suit, opened the show with the classic jazz tune My Funny Valentine . From the very first enthusiastic round of applause, it was clear that Chicagoans loved jazz—Botti style.

As the band settled into the regular set, the applause continued to build. As usual, Karen Teperberg anchored the back of the huge stage from behind her drum set. Marc Shulman on guitar and Jon Ossman on bass stood on the left side of the stage while Harvey Jones sat behind his keyboard to Chris’s right.

Many of the popular songs from Night Sessions were covered and, judging from the crowd’s positive response, very well received. In his intro for Miami Overnight , Chris (ever the comedian) mentioned that he thought parts of Chicago would qualify it as one of the naughtiest cities in the world. Lisa and Streets Ahead were also crowd favorites. Each band member added their individual sound to the songs—Jon on Regroovable , Karen on Blue Horizon . Harvey contributed a poignant rendition of Easter Parade and Marc set the stage on fire with his Miami Overnight solo.

In what has become his trademark, Chris ventured off the stage and into the audience midway through the show to find several unsuspecting serenade candidates. In the third row of the orchestra pit he found a five-year-old little girl sitting with her parents. He stopped in front of her and began to play When I Fall in Love . Chris wandered farther back along the aisle and stopped to play for a couple of other women before finishing the song.

With Chris back on stage, one of Marc’s strings suddenly snapped during Regroovable. Since it was at the end of the set, Marc decided to finish the song with five strings instead of six. His playing was so mesmerizing, that the crowd never noticed.

At the end of his show, Chris announced that he would be signing CDs during intermission. Many who had traveled long distances to attend the shows had the opportunity to get an autograph and a quick photo. In fact, the line was so long that Chris was still in the lobby chatting with fans when Fourplay took the stage almost 45 minutes later. Pianist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, drummer Harvey Mason and famed guitarist Larry Carlton entertained the crowd. It was also their first appearance in Chicago in a few years. Even so, judging from the empty seats that had popped up for the second half of the show, many had come just to hear the first half of the program. Yet another instance where the opening act can be just as (if not more) popular than the main event. (October 25, 2002)

Another lucky lady receives a serenade from Chris. October 25, 2002, Chicago, IL. ©2002 Margie Maddox


Chris wows the audience at the Rams Head Tavern. October 23, 2002, Annapolis, MD. ©2002 Margie Maddox

Prelude to Chicago
The eyes of an entire nation were focused nervously on the Maryland/northern Virginia area late last week as news of yet more random shootings were confirmed by the local authorities. Everyone who planned to attend the Annapolis and Alexandria shows breathed a collective sigh of relief when the news of the sniper’s capture was finally announced, the same afternoon that Chris and the Botti band arrived for their sound check at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland. With the sniper off the streets, everyone could relax and enjoy the music.

The Rams Head Tavern is a local landmark, the site of the first brewery in the area, dating back to the early 1700’s. It is an intimate club with a casual atmosphere, and a perfect place to hear live music. Chris and the band had performed at the Rams Head earlier this year, and many in the audience were returning fans eager to add to their Botti experiences.

In addition to the usual set, Chris threw in a few surprises. Never Gone , off his Midnight Without You CD was a nice addition. The East Coast fans were also treated to their first sampling of Jon Ossman stepping up to the mike to sing Midnight Without You , which had the crowd up on their feet. Marc Shulman astounded the audience with his incredible solo work.

The relaxed club-like atmosphere allowed for greater interaction with the audience. Fans shouted out their requests to Chris—most popular was the desire to hear material off his brand new holiday CD December . Chris thanked everyone for their interest and support but said he wasn’t ready to break out the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.

After the second set and his usual marathon autograph and photo session with the fans, Chris joined the other members of the band for a quick bite to eat and then it was on to nearby Alexandria, Virginia for the next night’s show.

The Birchmere Music Hall was another familiar venue for the band. Chris mentioned to the audience that he had last played there February 11, the night before he and the band left for Park City, Utah, where they played an outdoor concert at the Winter Olympics. Chris told the story of how his trumpet kept sticking to his lips because of the subzero temperatures, not something he is anxious to repeat anytime soon.

After their warm up shows in Annapolis, the band continued building on their high-energy performance. Marc Shulman collected many new fans, most witnessing his red-hot playing for the first time. The show followed the usual set, opening with My Funny Valentine , covering many of the Night Session tracks with a few of the earlier numbers thrown into the mix. Just like the night before, the enthusiastic crowd was able to coax Chris and the band back onto the stage for an encore at the end, and both times they were more than happy to oblige.

With no time to waste, the equipment was packed up and ready to go to the main event on their mini tour, the elegant Chicago Theatre. (October 23-24, 2002)

Jon looks on as Marc performs another guitar solo at the Birchmere. October 24, 2002, Alexandria, VA. ©2002 Margie Maddox


Chris joins Sting at L.A. fundraiser
Chris accompanied Sting last night as a featured soloist at the star-studded Carousel of Hope fundraiser, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA.  Chris shared the set list with the morning after the event— Every Little Thing She Does is Magic , Englishman in New York , Roxanne and Every Breath You Take .

Along with Chris, several other familiar faces joined Sting.  Present were Dominic Miller, Vinnie Colaiuta, Christian McBride and David Hartley.

In addition to Sting, there were notable performances by Elton John and B.B. King to benefit Hollywood’s largest health charity fundraiser.  For photos, visit and use “sting” as a search word.  Chris can be seen playing the trumpet in image # 693286. (October 16, 2002)


One of the smaller venues, the Iris offered fans an up close
and personal experience with Chris and band for his birthday.
October 12, 2002, Houston, TX.
©2002 Margie Maddox

Inside the Trumpet Studio – An Evening of Fun and Surprises with Birthday Boy Chris Botti
Early in the show, many Chris Botti fans must have wondered if they had mistakenly moseyed into the local comedy club instead of Houston’s hot new jazz venue, the Iris Jazz Resort, on Saturday night.  There was so much laughter mixed in with the music; from the beginning of the first set to the raucous standing ovation for the encore to close the extraordinary second show way past
midnight , it was clear that Mr. Botti was out to enjoy himself.  After all, Chris was celebrating his 40 th birthday, and was delighted to share his special evening with the Houston audience.

The first show began calmly enough, with Chris and the Botti band taking the stage shortly after 8:30 p.m. All the familiar faces were there with one exception:  instead of Shane Fontayne, the talented Marc Shulman wowed the crowd with his amazing electric guitar work.  Marc operated in his own little postage-stamp corner of the stage, surrounded by an arc of pedals and gizmos, which he pushed and tapped dramatically throughout the show to accentuate his guitar sounds.  Chris and the band launched right into a beautiful rendition of When I Fall in Love to start the show.  The tables were packed in so close together along the edge of the stage, all front row guests were treated to their own personal serenades from Chris at one point or another.  Early on, Chris showed his mischievous side.  During Marc’s solo, Chris noticed that a fan had called her friend to share the music.  Chris walked over to her table, grabbed the cell phone and placed it on the music stand right in front of Marc so the person could get an ear-full.  Chris just howled with laughter at his little prank.

In between songs, Chris was unusually chatty.  “When Condé Nast ranked the top ‘naughtiest’ cities, I think Houston came in second or third, right behind Miami ,” he grinned.  The audience roared in agreement.  He went on to mention that the last time they’d played in Houston (in 1999 at the Aerial Theatre), he and Harvey sent the other band members ahead to the next destination so they could stay and play in Houston for a couple of days.  They had such a great time, they barely made it to Atlanta in time for the next show!  Chris was already worried about which stories he could tell the Sunday night crowd because his ex-girlfriend’s mother (who lives in Houston) was coming to the show.  Talk of the ex-girlfriend led to his next song, Alone in the City , which prompted Chris to begin the extended version of how he wrote the song at the outset of one of the biggest snowstorms to hit New York (Harvey’s cue to provide chilly snow-drift sound effects), about his apartment in the meat-packing district with a view of the Empire State Building, etc. etc., and how the girl from Houston had dumped him the night before.  Members of the audience chimed in with elements that Chris had forgotten to add to his story.  Someone shouted, “That’s not what you say on the DVD,” which had Chris giggling on the stage and looking to his long-time fans for a response (more laughter).  Someone from the bar offered to send him some sake since it was his birthday, but Chris politely declined.  Chris continued with more stories of how he and the ex got back together months later and took a trip to the Amalfi Coast, where he wrote The Steps of Positano .  This gave Harvey a chance to provide more ribbing for Chris, all in good fun.

The intimate club setting also gave fans a chance to shout out requests, of which there were many.   At one point in between songs, Chris stopped in mid sentence, peered out into the audience and asked, “What is this?  Inside the trumpet studio??  Do we have a call…?  Why yes, it’s Gina from Oklahoma and she’d like to request Hall and Oates’ Sara Smile ,” he snickered.

The first show ended with My Funny Valentine , a song made famous by Chris’s favorite, Miles Davis.  At the end of the set, the owner of the club brought up a birthday cake and introduced Chris to a young lady who shared his birthday; she was turning 17.  Chris graciously did a quick Happy Birthday on his trumpet and the two blew out the candles on their cake.  What fans didn’t realize was that the first show was just a warm-up and the real fun was just about to begin.

After an hour break, which Chris spent mostly chatting with fans and signing CDs, the band returned for the second set just after 11:00 p.m.  Most of the people from the first show stayed for more.  Chris opened with Never Gone , something he rarely performs from his second album.  Next they did Regroovable and Marc Shulman, the “Shul-maniac” as Chris calls him, took off playing until there was almost smoke coming from his electric guitar.  Continuing the string of rarely heard songs, Chris played a very emotional Light the Stars which he hasn’t performed publicly (for West Coast fans) since last spring.  Chris ventured out into the audience to serenade a special friend from Houston with his favorite song Easter Parade , while Harvey accompanied on keyboards.

Taunts for Chris to sing came from the audience in between numbers.  Although Chris sings two tracks on his new CD December , he wasn’t about to sing live , even on his birthday.  Someone else shouted out Midnight Without You and Chris just laughed louder.  He explained, “We haven’t played that song publicly for seven years and we haven’t rehearsed it for ten…it’ll be a train wreck!”  The usually mellow Jon Ossman stepped to the front of the stage and offered to do the vocals.  The audience roared with encouragement.  Chris just shook his head in disbelief and started to play.  Jon came up to the microphone and began to play and sing and lo and behold, he sounded great!  His voice was perfectly suited to the song, originally covered on Chris’s CD by the same title by Paul Buchanan of the Blue Nile.  The crowd was on their feet, cheering Jon on; by the time he finished, the whole house was going crazy.   Chris closed the show with a soft ballad, When I Fall in Love , but the crowd wanted more.  Chris thanked the audience for coming to share his birthday evening, bade them all a goodnight and was off the stage.  Jon and Karen were already beginning to pack up their gear when Chris was lured back onstage for an unprecedented encore.  The crowd insisted on more music and the band obliged them with another song.  Birthday streamers cascaded down from above the stage and the audience remained on their feet for the rest of the number, almost drowning out the band with their frenzied cheering.

At the end of the show, Chris stayed to sign a few more CDs and chat with friends.  Jon was surrounded by a group of new fans, all praising his excellent performance that night.  As they say, things are always bigger and better in Texas and Chris’s fabulous 40 th birthday celebration shows were certainly no exception.  It’s a shame these special events only come along once a year!  ( October 12, 2002 )

Jon Ossman wows the crowd with his vocals on Midnight Without You , while Chris lends smiling support.
October 12, 2002, Houston, TX. © 2002 Sophia Dilberakis


Chris plays to the crowd at Thornton Winery,
October 6, 2002 Temecula, CA  ©2002 Margie Maddox

Trumpet: a sound for all venues
From the Getty Museum to Old Pasadena to a winery in the desert…the sounds of Chris Botti’s trumpet were heard in three distinctly different venues over the Oct.4-6 th weekend.

The weekend festivities started Friday night where Chris was a guest soloist at a Julia Fordham concert at the picturesque Getty Museum situated high up on a Los Angeles hilltop.  The fact that reservations to the concert “sold out” in a record seven minutes was a harbinger of things to come.

English-born Fordham displayed her multi-octave trademark voice accompanied by noted area musicians—including Jay Bellerose on drums and Jennifer Condos on bass.  Chris was brought in to add his trumpet flair during three of her numbers and also for the encore.  In short order, Fordham fans became Botti fans and visa versa.

With a day of rest in between, it was time for Chris to join his bandmates for back-to-back shows at two different venues.  The Botti Band originally had been scheduled to open for Al Jarreau on Friday night.  Due to last minute back surgery for Jarreau, the concert had to be cancelled.  Verizon jazz organizers were able to slot Chris in at another area concert—this one in a park setting in Pasadena during the same weekend.

Hay bales, set up in rows created seats at the front section of this outdoor venue.  Open lawn followed to accommodate those who had brought their own chairs and blankets. The midday heat was felt as the thermometer started climbing toward ninety degrees on this first Sunday in October in southern California .

Chris and company took the stage just after 1 p.m. amid rousing applause.  The heat and bright sun didn’t dampen spirits as those in attendance showed their approval of the customary set list.  A surprise guest was well-known saxophonist Bob Shepard as Chris invited him to stretch out on one of the songs.  (Shepard also performs on the soon-to-be released December .)

At the end of the 45-minute set, Chris did his customary autograph signing while the rest of the band quickly removed equipment from the stage and loaded it into vehicles for the two hour drive from Pasadena to Thornton Winery in Temecula.

The winery provided a much different setting as arriving guests were treated to empty champagne goblets ready to be filled with the variety of available vintages.  Saxophonist Warren Hill opened the event with a set that had guests on their feet several times during his performance.

Then, as the sun began to lower in the sky, the Botti Band took their places on stage.  The setting was a large, open-air Spanish-type courtyard that had been filled with rows and rows of white folding chairs.  A beautiful concrete fountain occupied a spot in the center of the chair-filled space.

The first song— Hallelujah —was plagued by several false starts due to sound problems.  With that quickly addressed, the rest of the concert went on without a hitch.  Both of the Sunday shows were punctuated by several serenades, which honored young musicians and those with birthdays.  Also, notable at the Temecula show was the addition of Regroovable to the set list—a song that West Coast concertgoers hadn’t heard in several months.

There was also time for good-natured teasing of guitarist Shane Fontayne—a staunch New York Yankees fan—who was in mock mourning due to the team’s playoff loss the day before to the Anaheim Angels.  The winery staff also took a moment during the set to bring Chris out a celebratory cake in advance of his birthday next weekend.

As the pitch-black night quickly extinguished the daylight, small twinkling lights threw off subtle shading onto the jazz fans while the musicians were bathed in soft spots.  The set ended amid a standing ovation and one more hour-long autograph line for Chris in the desert night.
( October 6, 2002)

A park in Old Pasadena provided the setting for the first of two Sunday concerts.  October 6, 2002, Pasadena, CA
©2002 Sophia Dilberakis


Chris plays to the crowd as Eric Marienthal watches, at the Garden of Eden, September 11, 2002, Los Angeles, CA.
©2002 Margie Maddox

A Night of Music and Unity in LA for 9-11
A huge American flag hung proudly above the entrance to the Garden of Eden, the premier LA nightclub that has played host every Wednesday evening to the WAVE radio station’s “LA Jazz Nights” all summer long ( see News, July 24, 2002 ). This Wednesday marked the first anniversary of 9-11 and in tribute, a very special benefit, “A Wave of Peace,” was organized by the WAVE as an evening of remembrance of the victims through music and unity. A portion of the evening’s proceeds would go to the Windows of Hope Relief Fund, aiding families of the victims of the WTC tragedy who worked in the food and hospitality profession throughout the Trade Center complex. Answering the call to perform was a virtual “who’s who” of smooth jazz musicians and all came to give generously of their time for a truly memorable evening. A long line of eager fans snaked around the block, onto Hollywood Boulevard long before the doors opened. By the time the music began, the venue was packed to beyond capacity.

Radio personality and sax player extraordinaire Dave Koz and his morning radio partner Pat Prescott ( see News, June 10, 2002 ) opened the show. They introduced Eric Marienthal who, along with his band, formed the core group of musicians on stage, to which others came and left as the evening progressed. Eric is one of the most popular and highly acclaimed saxophonists in contemporary jazz today. The legendary Greg Adams (more than 40 years in the business, noted for his time with Tower of Power) added his distinct muted trumpet tones to the group. The ever-popular Mindi Abair joined the group on sax. Next, ultra cool Freddie Ravel (played with Earth, Wind & Fire in the mid-90’s) cranked up the heat on keyboards. Ellis Hall (another Tower of Power alum) played keyboards and sang Stevie Wonder songs, much to the delight of the audience. Mark Ledford, a veteran of many sessions and touring bands such as Pat Metheny, played a curious instrument, which Chris later explained was a pocket trumpet. Pocket trumpets have the same range and key as the conventional trumpets, but their brass tubing has been “pretzeled” into a much more compact instrument.

Jonathan Butler, a LA Jazz Nights regular, strapped on his guitar and offered several classic George Benson tunes which blended perfectly with his beautiful voice. Bassist Brian Bromberg (recruited by the legendary Stan Getz at 19 and who Lionel Hampton once called “the greatest bass player in the world”) switched gears and asked the crowd for silence as he made an eloquent speech about 9-11 and the healing power of music. He then asked the audience to join him in an emotional rendition of the classic Beatles tune Come Together on his well-worn upright bass.

Just nearing the halfway mark in the program, Euge Groove lit up the stage with his sax. The crowd roared as he jumped off the stage and wandered out into the throng of dancing bodies, like Moses parting the Red Sea. Richard Smith played a few numbers on guitar and Rob Mullins rocked on keyboards.

After a short break, Dave Koz returned to introduce his good friend, “one of the best trumpet players in the business,” and Chris Botti hopped on stage. Dave teased Chris about being the best dressed as usual, and hoped that he might get just one of Chris’s hand-me-downs someday. Chris began with a soulful version of My Funny Valentine and Mark Ledford returned to jam with Chris, while Eric and Greg Vail blew their saxes in front of the stage. Karen Briggs (who toured with Yanni and was featured prominently in his show “Live at the Acropolis”) sizzled on violin. Before he left the stage, Chris took the mike to thank all those who came out this special night and acknowledged how important it was for musicians and audience alike to come together to heal. He was glad to be part of this special evening and remarked that there was no place like it in New York.

Vocalist Phil Perry ended the evening with a powerful version of America the Beautiful and many of the night’s performers came back to the stage to close out the show. On a day otherwise filled with sad memories, everyone left with a little joy in their hearts. ( September 11, 2002 )

Chris and Mark Ledford (on the pocket trumpet) jam together at the Garden of Eden, September 11, 2002, Los Angels, CA.
©2002 Margie Maddox


The band tests sound levels in Des Moines' Sheslow Auditorium, Des Moines, IA.  September 7, 2002
2002 Sophia Dilberakis.

Heavenly music played in stained-glass venue
With evening light filtering through beautiful stained-glass windows, Chris and band took the stage Saturday night at
Drake University ’s Sheslow Auditorium. Chris had never before performed solo in the state of Iowa and the Des Moines crowd was eager to witness his instrumental pop sound.

The evening opened with When I Fall in Love and continued through the familiar set list of Lisa , Streets Ahead , Miami Overnight —at which point, there was a departure. The September 7 th Des Moines show was just four days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the September 11 th attacks on the World Trade Center and other U.S. targets. Chris honored the memory of those who had lost their lives by playing Never Gone —a song from his Midnight Without You album that he has not performed publicly in years.

“We were the last band to play at the World Trade Center ,” Chris told the Iowa crowd. “We’d like to play this song in memory of those who lost their lives.”

The band went on to play a longer-than-usual set, which crossed the 90-minute mark. It was punctuated by the usual comedic leads-ins to Alone in the City and Steps of Positano . A noted addition, was Chris good-naturedly ribbing Harvey about some technical keyboard problems. Harvey had to borrow a silver-colored keyboard last minute to replace a missing component. He had covered the borrowed keyboard with black draping which prompted Chris to tell the audience that Harvey has an aversion to silver-colored keyboards. In turn, this forced Harvey to remove the draping and reveal the “offensive” keyboard color much to the audience’s amusement.

The band’s reward at the end of the set was an enthusiastic standing ovation from the Des Moines crowd. Their resounding applause brought Chris and company back out for an encore—which was followed by the usual snaking, hour-long, autograph line. ( September 7, 2002 )

Chris plays during the sound check at Sheslow Auditorium,
September 7, 2002, Des Moines, IA
© 2002 Sophia Dilberakis.


Chris and Shane watch as Karen performs another amazing drum solo.  August 17, 2002,  Concord, CA.©2002 Margie Maddox

A Smooth Summer’s Night
Colorful flags fluttered in the distance, lining the hillside where the Chronicle Pavilion at
Concord , CA stood ready to welcome fans to the latest stop of the JVC Jazz Festival. Fans made the long trek up the hill, carrying picnic baskets and blankets, ready for an evening of great music. Chris and the band headed a line-up that included Wayman Tisdale, Fourplay with Larry Carlton, and Dave Koz and Friends (Norman Brown, Brian Culbertson and James Ingram). Other “friends” would be revealed later in the show.

Most of the 12,500 seats were filled and the upper lawn area already a patchwork of picnic blankets when Chris and the band took to the stage shortly after 5 p.m. Chris wore a Prada suit, this time with a pale lavender shirt. Soon the rich sounds of the “new” older Martin Committee trumpet filled the arena, much to the delight of the crowd. It was only after the fourth song that Chris finally took the microphone in hand and welcomed everyone to the Pavilion, saying it was one of his favorite places to play.

His voice was unusually low and husky, due to a bout with laryngitis, which he blamed on a few too many plane rides lately. Chris introduced the band and told the audience they were in for a real treat. Sitting in for Harvey Jones was John Beasley, a famous jazz keyboardist in his own right, having toured and recorded with such music legends such as Miles Davis, Stanley Clark, Steely Dan and Christian McBride among many others. Although John provided excellent backup keyboards, he was no match for Harvey ’s regular comedy routine with Chris.

With very little voice, Chris told an abbreviated version of how he came to write the next song after being dumped the night before a huge blizzard hit New York City . He then jumped off the stage and wandered into the audience to play Alone in the City to a lucky lady. A stagehand helped pull him back up to the stage at the end of the song. Shane “the Ambassador” Fontayne and Jon Ossman stood side by side to play the opening of Hallelujah and a hush fell over the rowdy crowd as they enjoyed their beautiful guitar sounds blending perfectly with Chris’s soft trumpet.

Chris mentioned that Hallelujah was the featured song from the movie Shrek , which prompted him to plug his new DVD. He hoped everyone would run out to buy the DVD, although he admitted that he didn’t own a DVD player or even know how much one would cost! He also announced that the song is featured on his upcoming Christmas CD, due out in October.

Karen Teperberg, clearly the crowd favorite in Concord , received a standing ovation for her amazing drum solo on “ Blue Horizon .” In fact, the cheers were louder for Karen than for any other band member, which encouraged her to play even more spirited than ever. Chris closed the show with a very special rendition of the jazz favorite My Funny Valentine with John Beasley providing his talented artistry to the keyboard solos.

After the show, Chris patiently signed CDs, posed for photos and chatted with fans new and old. Although he had a little trouble talking, he was relaxed and happy. Chris had one more surprise up his sleeve for his fans, and returned at the end of the evening to play with his good friend Dave Koz. It was a perfect way to wrap up a midsummer’s night dream concert.
August 17, 2002

Chris plays to a full house at the JVC Jazz Festival,
August 17, 2002, Concord, CA. ©2002 Margie Maddox


Chris tours with new trumpet!
Bottiology can bring you the official news that Chris is now playing a recently-acquired 1941 Martin Committee trumpet. The trumpet was delivered to him after the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort show on July 21 st in Dana Point, CA.

We have it on good authority that he spent most of that first night taking the trumpet through its paces, reluctant to put it down.

The trumpet’s sound is further enhanced by a very rare 1929 Vincent Bach mouthpiece. Chris explained to Bottiology backstage before the August 3 rd Milwaukee show that mouthpieces of that era were handmade, enhancing the sound quality. To prove his point, Chris first played the 1941 trumpet with the 1929 mouthpiece and then replaced it with the 1980 mouthpiece he had been using on his 1949 Martin Committee to demonstrate the differences in sound quality.

The 1949 Martin Committee is no longer on tour and has now been designated as the backup trumpet. Fans catching upcoming shows will be able to experience the rich, buttery sound of the new trumpet for themselves. ( August 3, 2002 )


Marc and Chris play to the crowd in Wisconsin.
August 3, 2002, Milwaukee, WI © 2002 Sophia Dilberakis

Summer Sizzle in Milwaukee
Chris and company were the headlining act Saturday night at Summer Sizzle - a jazz festival, sponsored by the local smooth jazz station 93.3 F.M., WJZI.

The Botti Band was the fifth band to take the stage during the all day event featuring outdoor exhibits, food stalls and outstanding jazz on two performance stages on opposite ends of Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward district.

Streets were blocked off enabling jazz enthusiasts to set up folding chairs and tarps on lawn and asphalt alike. The band took the stage shortly after 9 p.m. playing to a packed outdoor venue. Not only were people seated thickly together in front of the stage, but onlookers stood on the sidewalks around the entire stage perimeter.

The midsummer night had set and the sky had blackened. The band was bathed in multicolored lights and Chris mirrored the visual in a multicolored striped shirt and purple suede pants.

But more importantly, this was the debut leg of Chris’ new trumpet (more here). The newly-acquired 1941 Martin Committee was played for the first time publicly in Birmingham, AL on August 1 st , followed by its second performance in Robinsonville, MS the following night at Gold Strike Casino’s Millennium Theater.

The notes were “buttery” as Chris and company went through the familiar set which was punctuated by the unfamiliar.

The seasoned performers weathered three power outages during Why Not, a heckler during the middle of the set who declined Chris’ invitation to come up and sing and a broken string on Marc Shulman’s guitar immediately before his solo on Regroovable. Marc restrung in record time and was able to launch into one of his fantastic grooves. (Regular guitarist Shane Fontayne is on a mini tour with Marc Cohn on the West Coast and will be rejoining the Botti Band on August 15 th at the Bend, OR show.)

Another set highlight was Milwaukee saxophonist Gary Davis who joined Chris on stage during Blue Horizon. (Davis’ band had performed immediately before the Botti Band set.)

And long after the last note was played, fans queued for as long as an hour to get a chance to meet Chris and get his autograph. (August 3, 2002)

Chris in 'the lights' at the Milwaukee gig.
August 3, 2002, Milwaukee, WI  ©2002 Sophia Dilberakis


Chris and guitarist Jonathan Butler chat about their
performances at the Garden of Eden, July 23, 2002,
Los Angeles, CA.  ©2002 Margie Maddox

Chris at the Garden of Eden
A large crowd was on hand Wednesday night for the kickoff of a new weekly summer event, "LA Jazz Nights at the Garden of Eden," organized by Los Angeles Smooth Jazz radio 94.7 the WAVE. The nightclub, a paradise of Moroccan decor, is a sanctuary hidden amongst the office buildings right off the chaos of Hollywood Boulevard, in the heart of old Hollywood. Through the fortress-like entrance, an exotic oasis welcomes the visitor. Rich ochre-colored walls, lush fabrics and Arab-influenced artifacts decorate the room, candles flicker on the tables and a roof-top garden terrace allows people to listen to the music in a relaxed setting.

"LA Jazz Nights" offers WAVE listeners a chance to see their favorite smooth jazz artists play live in an intimate setting. The special evening began with Gregg Karukas on keyboards, playing with the Nightshift Horns trio (Ken Ross, Nick Lane and Tom Saviano). Clearly a favorite with the listeners, Chris Botti joined them on stage for a memorable rendition of My Funny Valentine, much to the delight of the audience. Chris played a few songs with Gregg and then mingled with the crowd. Jonathan Butler, guitarist, and the ever-popular David Benoit also played sets. Chris clearly enjoyed the informal event, and told Bottiology he'd be back to play next Wednesday, and whenever his schedule would allow. For more details, see (July 24, 2002)

Chris and Gregg Karukas (with his band) play together at the Garden of Eden, July 23, 2002, Los Angeles, CA.  ©2002 Margie Maddox


Shane, Karen and Chris play at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. July 21, 2002. Dana Point, CA
©2002 Margie Maddox

Music on the beach at Dana Point
Chris and the band were all smiles on Sunday as they took to the "stage" on the South Botanical lawn overlooking the golf links and sparkling Pacific Ocean at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa in Southern California...and who could blame them? With the beautiful Tuscan-style buildings and palm trees serving as an elegant backdrop, Chris and Shane began the afternoon set with Hallelujah, the new song from the upcoming (still untitled) Christmas CD. Judging from the reaction of the crowd, this is going to be a real favorite.

Next, Chris was already off the stage and into the audience, stopping to serenade a lucky fan in the fourth row. In keeping with the posh surroundings, Chris looked very smart in his Prada suit and stylish Prada shoes and Jon wore his best plaid pants for the occasion. Humor was once again an important element of the day. Chris started his saga about the snow storm sweeping over New York, but before Harvey could supply the usual sound effects, someone in the front row added their own sarcastic remarks. Before things got out of control, Chris had to warn him to keep the risqué commentary to himself. After all, Chris warned, it was the early show!! After a few giggles, Chris hopped off the stage and waded into the crowd. He settled in front of another lucky lady to play "Alone in the City." What Chris didn't know was that she was celebrating her 40th birthday! For her, a surprise gift from Chris that she won't soon forget. The sun dipped lower in the sky as each band member added their own special touches to the familiar songs in the set. Everyone sounded relaxed and happy; 400 room, ocean front luxury resorts have a way of doing that to them it seems.

Second on the bill for the first Sunset Jazz series at the St. Regis was the legendary Michael Franks. He thrilled the crowd with old favorites such as his 1976 hit "Popsicle Toes." After the show, both artists stayed for long "meet and greet" sessions out by the pool. The dramatic surroundings, spectacular ocean views, warm summer weather and great music made for an unforgettable day at the St. Regis; with all that, who needs room service? (July 21, 2002)

Another lucky young lady gets a serenade from Chris, July 21, 2002, Dana Point, CA. © 2002 Margie Maddox


Karen, Shane, Chris and Jon perform to enthusiastic applause in Birmingham, MI, July 19, 2002   ©2002 Sophia Dilberakis

A Detroit suburb gets “jazzed up!”

An outdoor jazz festival in a shady city park is hard to beat especially on a beautiful summer night.

The first folding chairs were in place on the lawn at Birmingham, MI Shain Park at 3:30 p.m. for a concert that was slated to kick off with Chris Botti and band at 6 p.m.

What had threatened earlier in the day to be an overcast and slightly rainy evening turned into an evening filled with a golden sunset, with a gentle breeze and balmy temperatures.

The lawn started to fill up slowly but surely, until the enthusiastic crowd was more than ready for the band (who didn’t take the stage until 6:30 p.m.)

The audience was quickly wowed as the set once again began with Hallelujah! —one of the tracks from his upcoming Christmas album. Chris, accompanied by Shane Fontayne on guitar, mesmerized the crowd while Harvey Jones (who doesn’t perform in this number) sat cross-legged with the audience in the front row, watching his
band mates perform.

As since this was a festive park atmosphere, many of those present had brought their children. Chris serenaded one lucky young miss, who at a tender age had already perfected the art of being coy. During this set, Chris took not one, but two separate trips into the audience. In addition to the young girl, he serenaded a woman with a ringing cell phone and several other women who were clearly pleased at being chosen.

The band was particularly on fire in Birmingham, fueled by the enthusiastic audience and the beautiful summer night. Of particular note were Lisa , Streets Ahead and Miami Overnight . As usual, Karen played an outstanding solo on Blue Horizon .

The opportunity also presented itself for Chris to take a new twist when teasing his band mates
from the stage. Harvey Jones (keyboards) is originally from Birmingham, U.K. and he was playing in Birmingham, MI and Shane was playing in Shain Park.

An additional bonus for Chris lovers, was that Larry Carlton, the headlining performer, invited Chris to sit in on a couple of songs during his set. The night ended with many appreciative fans taking the time to thank various band members as they made their way around the city streets after the show. (July 19, 2002)

Chris strolls into the audience at Birmingham, MI Jazz Fest. July 19, 2002.  ©2002 Sophia Dilberakis


Hot temperatures make the sound check more work
than usual for Shane, Karen and Chris.
July 12, 2002, Saratoga, CA.©2002 Margie Maddox

Chris debuts Hallelujah!
The Mediterranean-style Villa Montalvo in the hills of Saratoga, CA once again played host to Chris and company. This time the band performed in the Garden Theater, an intimate 1150-seat outdoor amphitheater surrounded by majestic pines. The venue allowed fans an up-close-and-personal musical experience under the stars. Also on the bill were Steve Cole (sax) and the charismatic Craig Chaquico (long-time lead guitarist for Jefferson Starship) who ended the evening with an electrifying performance which brought everyone to their feet.

"Chris was introduced by a DJ from San Francisco's KKSF as a "living doll," much to the amusement of many in the audience. Everyone was in for a real treat, as Chris began the set by debuting a new song called Hallelujah from his upcoming Christmas CD. Written by Leonard Cohen, the song is familiar to most as the love-theme from Shrek . Chris' muted trumpet tones and Shane's powerful guitar chords make for a truly emotional song. (Chris is very pleased with the Christmas CD, which he announced is currently scheduled for release in October.) He followed that by immediately moving out into the audience to play to some young fans. The response to songs off of " Night Sessions " was tremendous.

In a mischievous mood later in the show, Chris was in the middle of his story about the inspiration for Alone in the City when he noticed a couple making their way up a side aisle at about 8:30 p.m. "Nice of you to join us," Chris teased. "Find your seats and I'll be up to see you soon," he grinned. With that he was off the stage and hiking up to upper rows, trumpet in hand, where the couple had settled. He immediately asked to see their tickets, pointing out that the show started at 8:00 pm, much to their embarrassment. Of course this was all in good fun, and Chris stayed to serenade the lucky couple.

The show ended promptly because Chris and the band had to catch a red-eye to New York for Saturday's taping of the wedding of the last woman pulled from the World Trade Center wreckage. (A short clip from the performance aired on the CBS Early Show on Monday, July 15, 2002.)

Chris mentioned that he was one of the last musicians to play one of the weekly midday concerts between the two towers before the attacks, and he was honored to be part of this special celebration. He planned to serenade the couple with his rendition of When I Fall in Love . Although pressed for time, Chris stayed for a short meet-and-greet out in the sculpture gardens, to the delight of his fans. Evening concerts at Villa Montalvo are always magical, and this one was no exception. ( July 12, 2002 )

Summer heat puts Shane deep in thought at
Villa Montalvo. July 12, 2002, Saratoga, CA.
©2002 Margie Maddox


Chris and producer Bobby Colomby in the recording
studio, June 26, 2002 Los Angeles, CA
©2002 Margie Maddox

Christmas in June
Los Angeles’ historic Capitol Record building is where Chris has been spending his spare time lately recording his new Christmas CD. Bottiology was treated to an early Christmas this year, listening to Chris and other musicians masterfully laying tracks under the guidance of producer Bobby Colomby. (Colomby and Botti had worked together on prior projects such as Slowing Down the World and Night Sessions .) Although specifics on track details and session musicians are not being released at this time, Bottiology can report that Botti Band regulars Shane Fontayne and Jon Ossman have participated. A release date has not yet been announced by Columbia Records. We’ll bring you more info as it becomes available. (June 28, 2002)

Jon Ossman ( left ) in the recording studio with Chris and
Bobby Colomby, June 26, 2002.  ©2002 Margie Maddox


Karen Teperberg sets up drum kit during sound check at
Ntelos Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA, June 22, 2002.
©2002 Sophia Dilberakis

Breezes, Botti and Band
With temperatures hovering in the humid mid- seventies and a gentle breeze blowing in off the Portsmouth ( Virginia ) Harbor at dusk, Chris and company started the outdoor set with a romantic When I Fall in Love . And although Botti was booked as the opening act for the Rippingtons, it became obvious early on that that 1,500 plus attendees were also there to support him.

Sitting under the gull-winged, canopy covering, fans were treated to powerful renditions of Streets Ahead, Lisa , Why Not , Alone in the City , Easter Parade and Blue Horizon . The evening’s performance was marked by the usual comedic exchanges between Chris and Harvey Jones (keyboards). Chris took particular delight in teasing U.K.-born Harvey over England ’s recent loss in the quarter-final World Cup match. And Harvey countered with sound effects as Chris described a New York City blanketed with snow as the lead in for Alone in the City .

Other notable gig highlights included skillful solos by Karen Teperberg (drums) and Jon Ossman (bass). And sitting in on guitar was Marc Shulman. (Marc fills in for primary Botti Band guitarist Shane Fontayne during scheduling conflicts.)

The warm summer night also provided the perfect setting for an extended “meet and greet” following the show. Chris signed autographs and took photos with fans for well over an hour under the moonlit sky. ( June 22, 2002 )

Jon Ossman ( left ) watches while Marc Shulman puts guitar through its paces at the sound check. Ntelos Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA, June 22, 2002. ©2002 Sophia Dilberakis


Chris and band take center stage at the legendary Hollywood Bowl June 16, 2002. ©2002 Margie Maddox

Le hot jazz at the Bowl
The second day of the 27 th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl not only featured hot jazz, but also sweltering mid-90s temps, as Chris and band took the stage just past
2 p.m. Host Bill Cosby struggled several times with the pronunciation of Chris’ last name, finally getting it right at the end of the performance.

Since Chris’ appearance was early in the day, the venue was not yet filled to capacity. Nonetheless, observers report that judging by body language and applause level at the end of the short 40-minute set, many audience members who may not have been familiar with Chris’ music at the outset, were rapidly becoming converts. Another notable aspect of this show was that percussionist Everett Bradley was part of the band. Everett has previously been spotted logging stage time with Chris and band at some of the higher profile gigs.

Cosby, urged the audience to give the band a big round of applause further saying that “he gave it his all in this hot weather.”

And although a meet and greet wasn’t scheduled, Chris surprised fans by taking time after his set to say hello to fans and sign autographs. ( June 18, 2002 )

Chris (flanked by Karen Teperberg and Jon Ossman) peering over "the shades" in the midday heat of the
Hollywood Bowl, June 16, 2002. ©2002 Margie Maddox


Chris and Pat Prescott, co-host of the Dave Koz Radio Show, Los Angeles, CA KTWV the WAVE, June 10, 2002
©2002 Margie Maddox

Chris rides the WAVE
Chris Botti was the guest co-host Monday morning on L.A.'s smooth jazz station, 94.7, the WAVE. (He was substituting for Dave Koz, who is taking a few Mondays off to tour.) Chris' time slot was supposed to be 7 to 9 a.m., but a faster than expected commute put him at the radio station just before 6 a.m. L.A. listeners were treated to an extra hour of Botti airtime as he and cohost, Pat Prescott exchanged on air banter. (Chris and Pat have known each other since their mutual former residencies in New York City.)

On air conversations including subjects such as Chris’ touring with Sting, Night Sessions and promoting Chris’ upcoming appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival. After the broadcast, Chris took a seat in the promotion director’s office and signed jazz festival T-shirts. (For those interested collectors, the performing artists names appear on the back.) He told Bottiology that he enjoyed the experience and had fun working with Pat. (June 10, 2002)


Chris picks up new trumpet!
Bottiology caught up with Chris at the airport last Friday via his ever-present cell phone. He was about to board a shuttle on the way to
Portland to pick up his new, custom-made David G. Monette Co. trumpet. Needless to say, he was excited and looking forward to playing it for the first time. Insiders now tell us that trumpet is in hand and Chris is busy putting it through a workout. ( June 5, 2002 )


Christmas CD scoop…
Rehearsals for the new Christmas CD are going “really well,” according to Chris. (We have it on good authority that he’s working on it all hours of the day and night.) And here’s something that will probably add to everyone’s holiday cheer this year. He told Bottiology that we might just get to hear him sing again. Stay tuned for more updates! (
June 5, 2002 )


Bottiology Mission
Bottiology has been created as a place for Chris Botti fans to visit for up-to-date information. In addition to late-breaking news on new projects and other Chris happenings, Bottiology researches upcoming gigs and provides detailed concert and ticket information. Our goal is to make going to see Chris and Band as easy and enjoyable as possible. We hope to see you at a future show.



Last Edited January 12, 2003 Copyright © 2002-03 Bottiology All RIghts Reserved