TROY – Grammy Award-winner Chris Botti entertained a sold-out Troy Saving Bank Music Hall with a sizzling jazz ensemble on Thursday, May 2.
Botti engaged with the audience, sharing anecdotes of his career highlights that included brief touring stints with both Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. He also encouraged attendees to break from etiquette by capturing video and photos of the two-hour performance. Following a plead to the audience that they not share any potential slip in performance, he squeaked out the second note to “Over the Rainbow” with a laugh.
The night included resounding solo performances from saxophone player Andy Snitzer, pianist Eldar Djangirov, drummer Lee Pearson and bassist Reggie Hamilton.
The show was full of highlights. Violinist Laney Harter accompanied the band on several pieces, including the opener. However, she took center stage on a solo that transitioned into a head-bobbing rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”
Brazilian guitarist Leonardo Amuedo joined Botti in a few duets, including Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone,” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which was dedicated to Jane Golub, who died last month. In addition to her ties to the Price Chopper supermarket chain, Golub was a longtime supporter of the local arts.
The trumpeter and composer earned a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2013. He has also shared the stage with Paul Simon, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole and Andrea Bocelli.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.