Chris Botti: “We are very excited for the Istanbul Concert”

22 April 2024
Chris Botti: “We are very excited for the Istanbul Concert”

Ahead of the Istanbul concert that jazz music fans are looking forward to, we asked Chris Botti, “What will you do first when you come to Istanbul?” His answer was clear and unexpected: “Eating Turkish food and walking.”

Grammy award-winning Chris Botti, the owner of the best-selling albums in the music world, is coming to Turkey once again. And this time, he comes with his orchestra and five special guests. Performing with countless famous names from Lady Gaga to Mark Knopfler throughout his musical career, he entered a 10-year period of deed silence in 2012. After year, Botti changed his record label and joined the Blue Note family, which is considered the temple of the jazz world. Just as he was about to announce a new album, the pandemic put him on hold like every living creature in the world. “Vol:1”, finally released last year, was a breath of fresh air not only for his fans but also for Chris Botti’s personal history.

Interpreting Chet Baker’s classic “My Funny Valentine” or Miles Davis’ unforgettable “Blue in Green” is not something everyone dares to do. Especially if you are a Grammy-winning trumpet player… Because no matter how good you are, you are almost guaranteed to draw criticism. The famous musician is confident about this. Chris Botti, who will soon enter the studio again and start working on the sequel to “Vol:1”, is so comfortable and confident.

Chris Botti: “We Are Very Excited For The Istanbul Concert”
Chris Botti

“Vol 1” is a selection of jazz classics. Could you please tell us about your new album?

I think coming out of the pandemic was a great start for everyone. I think I named this album “Vol: 1” as a dedication to this new beginning after a year and a half of drought, joining the Blue Note family and starting over with the precious friendship I made with David Foster. There are so many reasons to be positive, optimistic and look to the future with hope and I am very happy about it.

It takes 10 years for a new album. No doubt that we missed you. What have these years brought Chris Botti musically?

During that time, I sat back and watched a lot of changes in the record industry, and then I left Columbia Records and went to Blue Note. We were going to start making the album earlier, but the pandemic stopped everything for two or three years. I think it’s a combination of forces. Obviously, some of it was out of my control and some of it was in my control. First of all, I’m happy with the time frame that this vacation has given me.

It would be risky to reinterpret classics. So, your interpretation of Chet Baker including last album is valuable. Have you ever worried while interpreting?

Uh, no. Somehow, I overcame it, I think when Mark Knopfler and I created “What a Wonderful World” I kind of freed myself from that feeling. We were looking for the effect of the last recordings in a way. I think I also stayed away from trying to match the original creators of these classics.

Chris Botti: “We Are Very Excited For The Istanbul Concert”
Chris Botti

How did you choose the tracks? Is there any song you regret not including?

I don’t think I regret anything, I just picked melodies that felt right on the trumpet. I can’t wait to get back in the studio because I think in a year and a half, I’ve become a much better musician or I feel like I’ve mastered my instrument even more. So, I can’t wait to get back in the studio and do “Vol: 2”.

Then we have the good news that the rest of this album is coming.

Of course, there is.

The album is coming out on the Blue Note label, which is considered the sanctuary of jazz musicians. What does the Blue Note family mean to you?

It’s a new beginning with a label that is iconic in terms of its history. I’m very excited to have this relationship with Don Was and the great Blue Note team and I’m having a great time.

“Botti At Sea” is an incredible project.

Chris Botti: “We Are Very Excited For The Istanbul Concert”
Chris Botti

However, there are many fans in Turkey who cannot have such an experience. Is there any chance that one day the project will be organized in close to Turkey?

We just completed our first boat launch on Sea Cruise and I must say that it was a life-changing experience for me. I must say I loved being around other musicians. And we made it through the whole week without any glitches, without any diva crises or anyone on board getting sick or seasick. And even though everything was shaking. I can’t wait for next year. Next year’s lineup is already set. There are going to be some incredible names.

In 2021, you gave a very romantic concert. This time it will be a completely different playlist. What kind of atmosphere are you expecting?

At that time, we were just coming out of the pandemic and a lot of things… I think we’ve made really good progress in the band as well. We have a lot of new band members and we’re in a really good place right now. I can say that this concert will definitely be much jazzier.

Were you able to spend time in Istanbul when you came back then? Do you have any plans in mind for this visit?

Eating Turkish food and walking. As a band we are all very excited to come to Istanbul. The food is out of this world and everything is so exotic. We’ve had so many fun nights in Istanbul and even the wonderful lounge area at the airport is a joy. When we come this time, everything will be very fast, but it will be absolutely beautiful.