His earliest musical influence was his mother, a classically trained pianist and part-time piano teacher.
He started playing the trumpet at nine-years-old, and committed to the instrument at age 12 when he heard Miles Davis play "My Funny Valentine".
In 2006, Billy Childs, Gil Goldstein & Heitor Pereira won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
" (Chris Botti & Sting) from Botti's album To Love Again - The Duets.
He composed the score and recorded a soundtrack for the 1996 film Caught.
In 1999, Botti was invited to tour with Sting as a featured soloist in the Brand New Day tour.
In 1981, he was selected as a member of Mc Donald's All American High School Jazz band which marked his first Carnegie Hall performance.
At the age of 17, he ended up at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, by convincing his high school to allow him to fulfill his remaining senior year credits there.
Coming to prominence with the 2001 recording of his Night Sessions album, Botti established a reputation as a versatile musician in both jazz and pop music for his ability to fuse both styles together.
2006 also marked his first PBS collaboration, Chris Botti Live: With Orchestra and Special Guests, released in early 2006.
The CD and platinum-certified DVD included duets with Sting, Burt Bacharach, Gladys Knight, Jill Scott and Renee Olstead.
Botti was introduced to Columbia by Bobby Colomby, drummer and founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, who went on to become his producer and manager.
Botti’s first Columbia release was Night Sessions in 2001.