Chris Botti: Grammy-Winning Trumpeter Hits the Road This Fall; Plays Friday, Oct. 21, at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey [Q&A]

By Philip Trapp on Oct 10, 2016 02:20 PM EDT

Acclaimed trumpeter Chris Botti has performed with everyone from Joshua Bell to Sting. His most recent album, 2012's Impressions, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Ahead of his yearly Blue Note Jazz Club residency this December, the heralded brass-man will embark on a tour of the United States, hitting Montclair, New Jersey's Wellmont Theater for a performance at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 21 (his closest tour stop to New York City on this run).

The Classical Arts recently put in a call to Mr. Botti in anticipation of his upcoming Wellmont Theater gig. Read on to find out a little about Chris' life and musical career. Check out some further Chris Botti tour dates below, and be sure to catch him performing live at the Wellmont Theater on October 21; tickets are available now.

The Classical Arts: You just finished up a tour with Joshua Bell, and now you're going right back out this fall. Did you get some downtime recently?
Chris Botti: I've had a very rare three weeks off. I'm not the best with it, I've got to tell you. [Laughs.] We've been on the road for 12 years now, doing somewhere between 250 to 300 dates a year. When we actually have any long stretch of time off, it's so foreign. It's nice, but we start up again this weekend, and then kind of go crazy through May.

It looks like your touring right up until your Blue Note residency in December, and then still going out past that. It's the 12th year of that residency, right?
It might be the 13th this year? I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's the 12th. And we don't stop there. We start like a 90-day run after that, with only four days off, ending up somewhere in Japan or China. It's crazy, but it's great. It's so much fun to have this awesome band that we have out on the road; it's great to keep everyone out and working.

I'd read earlier that you hoped to make a new album this year. Is that still the plan?
I think what we're going to try to do is make another live album, like our Live in Boston album. That's sort of our projection for the spring. Whether or not all the ducks get in a row for that, you never know. That's what our goal is for next year.

Is there any anxiety in following up Impressions, which was a Grammy winner, or is it purely a business decision at this point?
The record business is changing so radically. Every month, it's a different version of what was. I feel like I was able to do Impressions with a company that allowed me to do what I wanted to do and make a beautiful record.

Now, things are different. I'm kind of waiting on the side to see how all the dust shakes out. [Laughs.] It's a much different playing field than it was even in 2012 when we made that record. That's one of the reasons why I'm not jumping right back into making another record like Impressions and instead do a live record. We haven't done a live record since 2009.

You've literally played with everyone. Joshua Bell, Andrea Bocelli, Sting. The list just goes on and on and on. Is there anyone you haven't played with at this point?
Well, there are many artists that I admire. I like Adele, Ed Sheeran, some others. I've been really lucky, to be honest with you. That list is pretty full-up. I feel very lucky with what's gone on this far.

Chris Botti selected tour dates:
10/15: Bloomington, Indiana @ Indiana University Auditorium
10/18: Ridgefield, Connecticut @ The Ridgefield Playhouse
10/19: Wilmington, Delaware @ The Grand
10/20: Bethesda, Maryland @ The Music Center at Strathmore
10/21: Montclair, New Jersey @ The Wellmont Theater
11/17: Milwaukee, Wisconsin @ The Riverside Theater
11/18: Minneapolis, Minnesota @ Orchestra Hall
11/29: Orange, Texas @ Lutcher Theater
11/30: College Station, Texas @ Rudder Auditorium
12/01: Fort Worth, Texas @ Bass Performance Hall
12/02: Fayetteville, Arkansas @ Walton Arts Center

More information and additional tour dates available at

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