Page 24 - the Noise October 2017
P. 24

OctOber SurpriSeS
A JAzz innOvAtOr And A cOuntry phenOm plAy yAvApAi cOllege
What are you doing with your Thursdays this month? While October fills its weekends with football, fall color hikes and pumpkin spice everything ... Thursday nights are of- ten uncharted (and unremarkable) territory. This month, Yavapai College Performing Arts Center offers two Thursday night performances — a Jazz master, and an emerging Country star – that’ll give you something to brag about over the weekend.
Chris Botti (OctOber 12)
There are artists who find a niche, crawl inside it, and stay there until the end of time. Jazz
artist Chris Botti isn’t one of them. The Portland-born son of a concert pianist, Botti heard Miles Davis play “My Funny Valentine” at 12 and never looked back. As an up-and-coming musician, Botti honed his skills and his sound working with the Buddy Rich Big Band, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole and, extensively, with Paul Simon. Since then, this legendary tour mon- ster (Mr. Botti is on the road about 300 days a year) has worked tirelessly — not just to expand his remarkable trumpet-playing skills but also to expand the reach of jazz itself. Mr. Botti has collaborated with a virtual Who’s Who of American music: Sting, John Mayer, Andrea Bocelli, Steven Tyler, and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, to name just a few.
Versatility has helped Chris Botti become America’s top-selling instrumental artist. In 2013, his album, Impressions, won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. And yes, there are the Gold and Platinum records, and the #1 Jazz Albums (four of them!) and the soothing tone and elegant phrasing he lends to ballads like “When I Fall in Love,”“Time to Say Goodbye” or “Someone to Watch Over Me.” But perhaps the truest measure of Chris Botti’s talent comes when you drop his name. The ones who haven’t heard him say, “I haven’t heard of him.” And those who have call him by a longer name: “Chris Botti Aaahhhhhh!”
sCotty MCCreery (OctOber 26)
If you start with the visuals on Scotty McCreery – his relatively tender age (25 this month),
his whiz kid looks, and a résumé that started by winning season ten of American Idol – you might conclude he was more style than substance.
But then you hear that smooth, Randy Travis-like baritone roll out of him – across lyrics of surprising insight, and you realize: this guy is the real deal.
Six years after bursting onto the national music scene, Scotty McCreery has had three con- secutive albums hit Number One on the Billboard charts. He’s had two Top Ten hits (“The Trouble with Girls” and “See You Tonight”), one gold record, three platinum records, and ACM, BMI, and CMI awards.
So, he doesn’t exactly need those “Hello! I’m...” nametags at American Idol reunions.
Fresh out of a gig at country music’s hallowed ground, The Ryman Auditorium, Mr. McCre- ery is currently riding the success of “Five More Minutes,” a bittersweet tribute to life’s Kodak moments and how very quickly they pass. Mr. McCreery’s two albums, Clear as Day and See You Tonight extol the virtues of romance, country living and small-town life, with enough energy and charm to keep them from getting too saccharine.
When you win American Idol at 17, you have two choices: keep building and growing as an artist, or forever be the guy who won American Idol at 17. Mr. McCreery, who clearly grows with every single, album and video release, is bound for bigger and better. It’ll be fun to watch him get there.
Chris Botti performs Thursday night, October 12 at 7:30PM; tickets start at $42. Scotty McCreery plays Thursday night, October 26, at 7:30PM; tickets are priced from $39. Both per- formances will be held at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 East Sheldon Street, in Prescott. For tickets, or more information, contact the YCPAC Box Office at (928) 776-2000, or visit: .
24 • october 2017 | the NoISe arts & news |
by mJ grAdy
at top: Scotty McCreery photo by jereMy ryan above: Chris botti photo by fabrizio ferri

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