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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

(OUTview NW) Chris Botti jazzes up Seattle Symphony's Seattle Pops concert!

by MK Scott

After years of missing famed trumpeter, Chris Botti, perform live in Seattle at such local venues as Jazz Alley, I finally got my opportunity, but this time he was part of the Seattle Symphony's Seattle Pops concert - one of my favorite series - at Benaroya Hall this past weekend.

Botti performed with one of the top jazz pianists around, Geoffery Keezer, along with drummer, Lee Pearson and Michael Olatuja on bass.

The program included some incredible solo work by violinist, Caroline Campbell, guitarist, Leonardo Amuedo, and vocals by Sy Smith and Rafael Moras.

Accompanied by the Seattle Symphony conducted by Lawrence Loh, this concert was a mixture of familiar ballads, jazz, rock and American songbook standards.

During Act One, Botti's trumpet screamed with passion with such songs as 'Gabriel's Oboe,' 'Concierto de Aranjuez,' and 'When I Fall in Love.'

Joined by Smith on vocals, both had opportunities to perform up close to the audience.

Speaking of the audience, drummer Pearson saluted famed drummer, Dennis Chambers (Santana, Steely Dan) who attended the performance. Chambers survived a health crisis this past year and appreciated the praise. In his honor, Pearson's performed a drum solo that was incredible.

But it was the violinist's (Campbell) solo that really rocked the house with folk, country, classical, and rock. (Hey, Botti and Campbell even did Led Zepplin's 'Kashmir'!)

A close second was Moras' rendition of Andrea Bocelli's 'Time to Say Goodbye (Con te partirĂ²).'

To close the show, Botti and Smith, along with their accompanying musicians and the Symphony, performed an unforgettable, 'Let's Stay Together' with the audience dancing in the aisles.

Coming up in January at the Seattle Symphony Pops: Broadway stars Jeremy Jordan and Betsy Wolfe will appear in 'Broadway Today,' January 12-14 at Benaroya Hall. For more information, visit seattlesymphony.org.

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