Not since Chuck Mangione has there been a more pop-accessible jazz trumpeter than Chris Botti. This Grammy-winning player has charted each of his last four albums at number one on the Billboard jazz charts. You can chalk that success up partly to his listener-friendly, flügelhorn-like tone that melts audiences like butter on toast. Botti also boasts a slim profile with Nordic good looks and frosted blond hair; nobody ever said jazz had to be hard on the eyes.
Botti started his career as a session and tour musician for an array of pop and jazz luminaries, including Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, and Bette Midler. Following a few early fusion albums, he found his solo niche as one of the leading lights of smooth jazz.
For more than a decade, he’s been setting up shop for lengthy residencies at downtown Manhattan’s Blue Note Jazz Club to play classics off his two holiday albums, December and To Love Again. He regularly makes good use of his touring Rolodex to call on celebrity friends to join him onstage; in past years, surprise guests have included Sting and John Mayer. Regardless of who else might show up, Botti and his seven-piece band are sure to enchant throughout his four-week run. Shows are quickly selling out, so decide now if you’d like to be part of the dinner crowd at the early set or keep the party going into the wee hours with Botti’s nightly late show.
Why You Should Go: If warm and stylish jazz is what you’re looking for to keep you warm, Botti’s got your present wrapped.
Chris Botti 13th Annual Holiday Residency
131 West 3rd Street (between Sixth Avenue and MacDougal Street), West Village
Monday, December 11–Sunday, January 7
Sets each night at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Bar seat: $55; table seat up to $115