Born: October 12, 1962
Though best-known as a contemporary jazz performer, trumpeter Chris Botti made his initial splash on the pop music scene. A native of Oregon, he started playing at the age of ten, and while still in high school began performing professionally. After studying in the prestigious Indiana University music program under the noted jazz educator David Baker, Botti relocated to New York where he served with saxophonist George Coleman and trumpet great Woody Shaw; under the guidance of producers including Hugh Padgham and Arif Mardin, he swiftly emerged as a highly regarded pop session player, lending his trumpet to recordings from figures including Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Thomas Dolby. In 1990, Botti was asked to join Paul Simon's band, where he remained for the next five years. Finally, in 1995, he recorded his solo debut First Wish, a record combining the sounds of contemporary pop-jazz with the textures of art rock. After scoring the 1996 film Caught, Botti resurfaced in 1997 with his second LP, Midnight Without You, which was followed by Slowing Down the World in 1999. Two years later, he was a featured soloist on Sting's "Brand New Day" world tour, and that time allowed Botti to rediscover old musical passions and create new ones. Night Sessions (2001), which was recorded in Los Angeles, captured such jazzy pop.