By Precious Lee Cundangan
Manila, Philippines, June 23, 2012 – Gracing the Manila concert scene anew with his impressive musicianship and palpable charisma, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti held a one-night only concert at Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila – presented by RadioHigh 105.9 FM – on Tuesday.
Botti's sold-out concert boasted beauty, melancholy, and lyricism – a night filled with consummate artistry.
At a press conference prior to his second Manila concert (the first one was held last November), Botti confessed that his attitude and discipline were highly influenced by rock icon Sting.
"If there's one person who affected me the most, it's Sting," he shared. "He's like my big brother. And without his stamp of approval, I wouldn't be here now talking to you. I learned so much from him. He has an appetite for touring, and a discipline for touring."
Unfortunately, such hard work and discipline is something he found lacking in today's young people.
"This new generation is in trouble as young people lack the appetite for discipline," he said. "They have this illusion of making it big overnight. Singers like Lady Gaga, Michael Buble are talents that are built on something and that they took a gamble on. Kids need more time in the playroom, and should dedicate their time in their respective crafts."
But all is not a lost as Botti's concert was organized for the benefit of the Young Musicians Development Organization, which exists to hone young Filipino musicians the right way.
Joining Botti at his recent concert were Philippine music icons Richard Merck and Verni Varga, together with session musicians Elhmir Saison, Tots Tolentino, Roger Herrera, and Mar Dizon.
Street musician and violinist Bryson Andres also performed at the event.
"Performing with Chris is simply the best," Merck said. "I mean this is a guy who's the best trumpeter there is and has played with the world's best. It's simply a privilege to be part of this concert."
Likewise, Varga shared that "being with Chris on stage is exhilarating. He's the best trumpeter in the world. His music was introduced to me by my husband, and I admired Chris since then. I do hope he stays longer in the country. I myself dream of recording a song with him."
Photos by Magic Liwanag