Jazz ballads and crooners’ tunes will play at 8 p.m. Saturday night in the IU Auditorium when Chris Botti makes his homecoming return. As a Grammy award-winner and former IU student, he will return to campus for one night to play the jazz and ensemble numbers that have brought him national acclaim.
The trumpet player has received awards for his work both in the classical and pop genres including a Grammy Award in 2010 for Best Classical Crossover Album for his work with Yo-Yo Ma’s album “Songs of Joy & Peace” and Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2013 for “Impressions.”
“Chris Botti’s performances are awe-inspiring,” IU Auditorium Director Doug Booher said. “It’s perfect for both jazz enthusiasts and popular music lovers alike.”
Botti, who left IU in 1984, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award for 2016 this homecoming weekend. The award is granted to former IU students who have become leaders in their field and contributed to their community in a significant way.
Botti will also conduct educational sessions with Jacobs School of Music students during his stay in Bloomington. The opportunity will be a great addition to the student’s learning processes, IU Auditorium managing director Maria Talbert said.
“We are thrilled that Mr. Botti and his ensemble will be engaging with IU students in activities leading up to their performance,” Talbert said. “Connecting our visiting artists to IU students and members of our community is one of the major ways we are able to expand and enrich the student experience.”
Throughout his career, Botti has worked with a variety of musical artists from Michael Bublé to Paul Simon.
He has sold over 3 million albums and has become the largest selling jazz instrumental artist since the release of his album “When I Fall in Love” in 2004.
Botti’s experience has contributed to a performance that engages audiences, Booher said.
“He and his ensemble create a concert experience that is both engaging and intimate,” Booher said. “It is an honor and a privilege to welcome Chris back to IU and to have the opportunity to share his incredible talents with the Bloomington community.”
Both Talbert and Booher said they happily anticipate Botti’s performance and introducing students to his talent.
“It’s a testament to IU that we are able to attract and present world-class artists like Chris Botti,” Talbert said. “Providing the IU community the opportunity to see performances like his, which are commonly available only in much larger markets, greatly adds to the culture of the IU Bloomington campus.”
Talbert said Botti’s performance at IU has been anticipated for many years and that his return to Bloomington has become an event she is proud to experience.
“We have watched him perform alongside artists from Frank Sinatra to Sting over the breadth of his career, and couldn’t wait to bring him back home to IU,” Talbert said.