Matt Otto is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Kansas University (KU)  teaching Jazz Theory and Performance, Jazz Combo 1 and private lessons. Matt is also an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers New Brunswick teaching online courses in jazz improvisation, theory and performance.

Matt Otto studied music performance and composition at Indiana University, Berklee School of Music, New School Jazz (BFA) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA). Having lived in Japan for 5 years, New York City for 7 years and Los Angels for 6 years, he has performed with a variety of artists including Anthony Wilson, Larry Koonse, Rashid Bakr, Ben Monder, Wadada Leo Smith, Willie Jones III, Alan Ferber, Mark Ferber, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Gregory Hutchinson, Jonathan Kreisberg, Charlie Haden , Joe La Barbera, Leroy Vinegar, Jimmy Smith, Paul Jackson, Ari Honig, Ben Street, Mike Moreno, Sara Gazarek, Josh Nelson, Danny Weiss, William Parker, Matt Wilson, Steve Cardenas, Bobby Watson, Bob Weir, Deborah Brown,  Larry Goldings, Jerry Bergonzi, Eric Harland, Sheryl Bailey, Darek Oles, Erik McPherson, John Stowell, Ralph Peterson, Alan Pasqua,  Kurt Rosenwinkel, Reggie Workman and many others.

While in Los Angeles, Matt co-founded of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective (lajazzcollective.org).  The mission of the collective (LAJC) is to help create opportunities for creative jazz composers and performers to showcase original artistic work and to set up an ongoing Jazz outreach program for young jazz musicians in and around Los Angeles.

Matt currently performs his original compositions with his Kansas City based septet with members Gerald Dunn on alto saxophone, Jeff Harshbarger on acoustic and electric bass, Shay Estes (vocals), TJ Martley on Piano/Keys, Mike Warren and/or Brian Steever on drums and Hermon Mehari on trumpet, as well as traveling several times per year to NYC and LA to perform and record with various jazz artists.

Matt has recorded and performed with the Grammy nominated Anthony Wilson Nonet (The Power of Nine, Groove Note 1035, 2006), and performers frequently in Los Angeles with the Grammy Nominated Alan Ferber Big Band as well as having recorded on over 50 CD’s as both a leader and a side man.  See below for a discography of noteworthy recordings.

Contact: ottojazz@gmail.com

Larry Kopitnik interviews Matt Otto.  Jam Magazine 2016. (Image links to interview)

Roger Atkinson interviews Matt Otto.  Jam Magazine April 2012. (Image links to interview)

Joe Klopus interviewsMatt Otto. Kansas City Star.


CD Recordings of note:

Tim Fischer quartet (Tim Fischer 2014)

Joeless Shoe, Midsole (Kansas City – JCR 2014)

Brian Swartz, Gnu Sextet, Portraiture (Summit, 2014)

3-ish, Events (Jazz Collective Records 2014)

Justin Morell, Subjects and Complements (Sonic Frenzy Records 2013) – w Alan Ferber

Roger Wilder Quintet, Stretch (Artist Recording Collective 2013)

Nancy Sanchez, Ruby in LA (Big as Records 2013)

Matt Otto Sextet, Broken Waltz (Jazz Collective Records 2012) Four Stars in Downbeat Magazine. – w Sara Gazarek

Matt Otto, Leonard Thompson Duo, Anima (JCR Records 2011)

Joeless Shoe, Outsole (Jazz Collective Records 2010)

The Music of Tom Waits, Innocent When You Dream (Jazz Collective Records 2010) w Greg Leise

Matt Otto Sextet, La Commune (JCR Records 2010)

Ed Neumeister, ENJO, Live at the Jazz Bakery (Meistero Muisc 2009) w Peter Erskine

3-ish, Baobab (Jazz Collective Records 2009)

Josh Welchez Quintet, Lost and Found (Jazz Collective Records 2009) w Mark Ferber

Anthony Wilson, Nova (Goat Hill recordings, 2008) w Darek Oles

David Ashkenazy Quartet, Resonation (Los Angeles – Posi-Tone Records 2008)

Matt Otto, Andy Ehling Quintet “Returning” (Jazz Collective Records 2008)

Roger Cairns, Let’s (Roger Cairns, 2008)

Q Trio, Vol. 1 (JCR Records 2008) – w Qasim Nakvi

Los Angeles Jazz Collective Sampler Vol.1, (LAJC, 2008)

Brandon Bernstein, Solitude (Brandon Bernstein, 2008) – w Putter Smith and Tim Pleasant

Anthony Wilson Nonet, featuring: Diana Krall – The Power of Nine (Groove Note Records 2006) w Alan Ferber

Evan Stone, Sticks and Stones Vol.1 (Red Jazz 2006) – w Josh Nelson, Sara Gazarek

Roger Cairns, A Scot in LA (Roger Cairns, 2006)

Matt Otto Quartet – Red (Origin Records 2005) w Qasim Nakvi

Glen Makos, Now and Again (Stop Time Records, NYC, 2005)

Joeless Shoe, Joeless Shoe (Jazz Collective Records 2005)

CalArts Jazz 2005 16th Annual CD Track 8 (California Institute of the Arts 2005)

Erik Jekabson, Intersection (Fresh Sound Records, Spain, 2004) w Ben Monder and John Ellis

CalArts Jazz 2004 15th Annual CD Tracks 1, 4, 9, 10 (California Institute of the Arts 2004)

Rashid Bakr, Live at the Old Office (Knit Media, New York, 2002)

Push, Live at the Knitting Factory (Knit Media, New York, 2002)

Nick Demopoulos, Exegesis, The Order of Chaos (Demopoulos Music Records, NYC, 2002) w Mark Ferber

Rashid Bakr, Earth Native (Majic Records, NYC, 2001)

Peter Montgomery, The Road Back Home, Featuring Kenny Garret (PB Production, 1999)

Peter Montgomery, Evia, (PB Production, 1999)

Speak, Buddha (Big as Records 1997)

Matt Otto Quintet, 52 West 19th (Noir Records 1996) w Willie Jones III

Melodie Sexton, Melodie Sexton (Columbia Records, Tokyo Japan 1996)

Sharaku, Movie Sound Track (Avex Records, Tokyo Japan 1996)

Odo, Tokyo CallingHaywire (Sony Music Compilation, Tokyo Japan 1996)

Odo, Universal Language (Matt Otto, 1995)

Dig, Impressions (Crown Records, Tokyo, Japan 1994)

Fahrenheit 451 Vol.1 Compilation, Cole Scotch (May 1992)

Dig, Dig (JMJ Records, 1991)

Fullerton Jazz Orchestra, Live in Montreux (Cal State Fullerton, 1989)

Matt Otto Quintet Matt Otto Debut (Matt Otto, 1989) w Darek Oles and Dave Scott