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Chris Botti Hits Right Notes Thanks to Ketchum Dentist
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Chris Botti, America’s largest selling instrumental artist, performed at The Argyros with violinist Caroline Campbell. PHOTO: Karen Bossick
 
 
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK AND DR. BRIAN GALBRAITH

The Argyros had spent months preparing to present Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti at its gala fundraiser.

But Friday evening’s event nearly didn’t go off as Botti woke up Friday morning unable to play a single note on his trumpet.

 
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Brian Galbraith said that Chris Botti, seen here with saxophone player Andy Snitzer, tends to play his trumpet from the left side of the mouth and that’s where he had to open a space for one of the world’s top trumpeters to perform. PHOTO: Dr. Brian Galbraith
 

Thankfully, Ketchum dentist Brian Galbraith came to the rescue.

Galbraith had never worked with the problem that plagued Botti before. But, given a heads up the night before, he was able to research what needed to be done, with a little help from Hailey trumpet player Dean Comley and his wife Martha, a retired dentist.

Both had met Botti previously and were able to tell Galbraith useful bits about Botti's playing position. And a grateful Botti gave Galbraith a ring of endorsement—an unusual form of advertisement—from the stage Friday night as he ended his concert.

“It was fun to learn about what needed to be done. And I’m happy I was able to address the problem because the concert was just unbelievable,” said Galbraith, who attended the concert with his wife Andrea. “The variety of entertainment on that stage, including the ladies playing the violin and singing the songs had me wondering what planet I was on!”

 
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Dr. Brian Galbraith and his wife Andrea got to enjoy Chris Botti’s concert, thanks to Brian’s dental magic. PHOTO: Karen Bossick
 

Botti had had some dental work done earlier by a renowned dentist in Los Angeles with whom Galbraith was familiar. And the Los Angeles dentist had done a good job, Galbraith said.

But the work had affected how the air passes between Botti’s teeth, and the trumpeter couldn’t play high notes as a result. Galbraith had Botti bring his trumpet to his Sun Valley Dental office in Ketchum and little by little he worked and Botti played until they got it just right.

“Chris Botti plays a mouthpiece made in 1920, and he can play it perfectly as a normal rule. But he couldn’t Friday morning—it was like taking a whole octave off the keyboard for him,” Galbraith said. “Instead of looking at it from an aesthetics point of view, we looked at addressing filling material in a place that was critical to playing. We opened the space again and the notes came back.”

Had it been a normal workday, the patients in Galbraith’s office would have been treated to the sweet sounds of Botti’s trumpet as dentist and musician went back and forth about six times. But, as it was Galbraith’s day off, there were no surprise mini-concerts for those undergoing teeth cleanings.

But those attending the gala concert at The Argyros were treated to a 90-minute intoxicating blend of jazz and R&B by the 59-year-old Oregon native.

“It was the best concert I’ve been to in my life,” said Pamela Ridgway. “All the different styles, the different performers, the world-class entertainment in our little home of Ketchum. It was priceless. I love the Argyros and their kind staff. I used to be on the board of the Kirkland Performance Center in Seattle and The Argyros is just so much more intimate.”

Donna Beaux concurred. “All the stress of last three years released. This performance let us go into a new life, a weight off our shoulders.”

The eclectic, entertaining concert featured an all-star cast—any of whom could have commanded a full show by themselves. Vocalist and Emmy winning Sy Smith, who started as a backup vocalist for Whitney Houston, filled the theater with her booming voice.

The band ranged from Estonian pianist Holger Marjama, who began performing when he was just 7, to Uruguayan guitarist Leonardo Amuedo, who learned his first guitar chords when he was 4 and recorded on Botti’s 2013 “Impressions,” album, which received a Grammy for Best Instrumental Pop Album.

Violinist Caroline Campbell, who has played with a who’s who of the music world, including Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, the Black-Eyed Peas and Lionel Richie, performed breathtaking scales, along with some fiddling.

And Botti showed his stuff on the pensive “You Don’t know What Love Is,” his trumpet notes reverberating around the theater showing off its breadth of acoustical performance.

“We started on the road June 2021 and we’ve been on the road since,” he said.

Botti, wearing a shiny black leather jacket, ended with “What a Wonderful World,” featuring a fabulous Louie Armstrong impersonation by drummer Lee Pearson.

“This song has seen a lot of good times and a lot of bad times,” he said.

Fortunately, it saw a good time Friday night, thanks to Ketchum dentist Brian Galbraith.

 

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