Every couple of years, when smooth jazz trumpet player Chris Botti appears in Buffalo, it’s like a glittering trip back to the 1990s. Last time he was here, in 2011, he charmed the crowd with his coiffed blond hair, his dapper suit and his glossy, virtuosic music. He spoke of the Rolling Stones, Bill Clinton, Celine Dion and Toni Braxton. And of Sting, who helped launch his career.
The songs he played ranged from a raunchy “Moanin’ ” to a high-flying version of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” that was reverent in its own way. Botti can always be counted on, too, for a few surprises – a guest singer, a phenomenal instrumentalist, someone or something. You get the sense that no two concerts are the same. And that’s the way Botti wants it. Once in Kleinhans, playing Miles Davis’ “Flamenco Sketches,” he said: “When you walk to a chessboard it’s always the same, and then as you play the game, it’s always different.”
Chris Botti and his friends join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $43-$95. For information, call 885-5000.
– Mary Kunz Goldman