Written by Ashleigh Cox
On September 14th, Chris Botti performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with a group of talented jazz musicians. The powerful music filled Tryon Festival Center and took a variety of tempos, tones, and styles to transform this performance into something special.
In addition to Chris Botti performing with the trumpet, he was accompanied by a pianist, a drummer, a guitarist, and a bassist who also played the cello for the majority of the performance. They added depth to the music and the rhythms came through very strongly from the drummer. The drummer, in particular, showed his talent at one point by playing a drum solo for several minutes. In that time, he played with both hands behind his back, he threw his drumsticks, played with his hands, and gave the audience a show. He had incredible charisma and watching him play for that time was my favorite part of the show because everyone inthe audience and on stage had fun with it.
At the beginning of the show, the band played calmer, more classical music and a violinist from St. Petersburg joined them on stage. Although the music played wasn’t the typical jazz sound, it was still enjoyable and blended well when the group transitioned to more upbeat songs.
Later on, a saxophone player came out to join the group as well. He was very immersed in his music, as were all the musicians that night. He moved with the melody he played and was very lively as he played. The final surprise was at the very last song when a vocalist entered the performance. Both she and Chris Botti walked off of the stage and into the main floor where Chris shook the hands of many people in the audience. He played right in the aisle and she sang as she moved through the crowd. The combination of her voice with the saxophone, Chris Botti, and the rest of the band was an amazing blend of sounds and was certainly an excellent way to end the show.
Chris Botti, like Buddy Guy, made the performance much more personal when he came off of the stage and spoke to the audience. He also made the show about the other musicians he had found and showcased each one’s individual talent. Each individual who performed was excellent at their crafts and blended together beautifully as a group. I was expecting to watch a trumpet player perform solo for an hour and a half, but I was able to enjoy much more than that at this performance.