Entertainment

Trumpeter Chris Botti’s ‘busiest year’ brings him to Wichita

For someone who’s recently won a Grammy and whose career is thriving, trumpeter Chris Botti remains pretty levelheaded.

He’s completely into his music, but remains the kind of person who acknowledges his humble beginnings.

“I am one of the most fortunate people in the music industry,” says Botti, who performs at the Orpheum on Saturday.

When he moved to New York City early in his career, Botti says his life’s savings was only $200. Things have improved quite a bit.

“We are on the precipice of having our busiest year ever,” he says. “Last year, was our 11th-year touring anniversary, and we had 300 bookings.”

Botti, 52, is from Oregon. He spent first and second grade in Italy because his father taught Italian and took a group of students to Europe for intensive study. When he was 12, he saw Miles Davis play “My Funny Valentine” and decided he wanted to be a trumpeter. His mother, a piano teacher, taught him the need to get excited about practicing if he wanted to be good or great.

After studying at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., Botti began a freelance career. He played a variety of styles while working with the Buddy Rich Big Band, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. He also toured extensively with Sting.

Botti’s first Grammy nomination came in 2007 for his album “Italia.” After three other nominations, he won a Grammy in 2013 for “Impressions.”

But success on the West Coast wasn’t what Botti ultimately wanted.

“After living in Los Angeles for five years and having the good fortune of having made it music, I did what every successful middle-aged man does: I bought a big, flashy house – and hated it,” Botti says. “So, I vaporized all my possessions and (now) live in a hotel in New York.”

His new “home” serves him well during his annual holiday concerts at the Blue Note. He just celebrated his 10th anniversary at the famous jazz spot by playing two shows a night for 21 straight days. He recently signed a contract to add a fourth week – 56 shows in 28 days, next season.

If You Go

Chris Botti

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Orpheum, 200 N. Broadway

Tickets: $49.50, $59.50, $69.50, selectaseat.com, 1-855-755-7328

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