Trumpeter Chris Botti is not only the world's biggest-selling jazz instrumentalist, he is also one of the busiest touring musicians today with a schedule that has him on the road sometimes for more than 300 days out of the year.
“It is my life,” Chris says.
“I don't live anywhere. I live in a hotel in New York and I don't own any possessions so a lot of the normal trappings – a family a car a house blah, blah, blah – I don't have any of that stuff.
“So my life is the road, and my family on the road is my band and my tour manager. That's my life and I'm super lucky to have the opportunity to do this.
"I'm not necessarily wanting to tour so I can take time off and live my life. No, this is my life and I'm dedicating my life to this.”
Chris' extensive live performance commitments have him coming to Australia this February for a tour through the nation's leading concert halls accompanied by a live band. “I think this will be our fifth trip to Australia,” Chris says.
“I knew I would love [Australia] when we first came there so many years ago now, but I'm so looking forward to it again.
"Now I have lots of friends in Sydney and Melbourne so it's going to be good fun to come back and make music, and we have a great band with us this time so we're really looking forward to returning.
“We have an incredible group and beyond that we have two singers and a violinist, so there's nine musicians in total. It's a show that crosses tonnes of different genres et cetera, and the band is rocking; it's maybe the best band I've had on the road touring, and I've had some great bands.”
Over his thirty-odd year career, Chris has sold over four million albums; his latest album, 2012's 'Impressions', peaked at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart and earned Chris a Grammy in 2013 for 'Best Pop Instrumental Album'.
A versatile and adaptive performer, Chris has performed and recorded with a veritable who's-who of the entertainment industry including Sting, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga and Yo-Yo Ma.
Chris says his friendship with Sting is what helped him develop such a definitive career path. “[Sting] opened so many doors for me by not only being in his band but then after I was in his band for one tour I did a whole tour as his opening act and not in his band anymore,” he explains.
“That sort of led to someone in the audience [being] like 'my friend Oprah Winfrey would love this guy', and two days later we were on Oprah's show and she's holding up my CD and crying.
“Things move quite rapidly from that aspect and Sting has been one of my closest friends and allies, so you learn stuff not only musically but personally and work ethic-wise, how to tour and base your life around the touring life. That aspect has been really fantastic.”
Chris Botti Tour DatesFri 16 Feb - Sydney Opera House
Sat 17 Feb - Canberra Theatre
Sun 18 Feb - QPAC (Brisbane)
Mon 19 Feb - Her Majesty's Theatre (Adelaide)
Tue 20 Feb - Hamer Hall (Melbourne)