A smooth jazz master with a truly global purview, trumpeter/composer Chris Botti is one of the very few pop superstars that the genre has produced. While he always keeps it accessible, singable and user-friendly, there is no denying the man’s musical substance. No one even really tries. Over the past three decades, Botti has recorded and performed with Sting, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Bublé, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Andrea Bocelli, world’s-greatest violinist Joshua Bell and many more. But it is in his own work as composer, interpreter and bandleader that Botti has emerged as something of a visionary with his wide-ranging, integral fusions of world sounds and Western music.
Stereotypes of smooth jazz be damned, 2012’s Grammy-winning Impressions is a quietly dazzling collection of orchestral settings with Botti’s horn cast as diva, featuring readings of Chopin, Piazzolla and Randy Newman (three of my favorites) alongside an array of sympathetic originals. His touch is light, but Chris Botti is no lightweight. He is also quite the looker, but you knew that.
The Bardavon presents trumpeter extraordinaire Chris Botti and his band at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston on Friday, March 29. Tickets cost $60 to $95 based on location, with a discount for Bardavon members.
Chris Botti and his band, Friday, Mar. 29, 8 p.m., $60-$95, UPAC, 601 Broadway, Kingston, (845) 339-6088, www.bardavon.org