ABOUT

So I'm a Sax & Woodwind player, arranger, composer, & teacher based in NYC. In my travels I've worked all over the globe - playing concerts and festivals in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia, but one career highlight has to be playing in the remote Star Mountain highlands of Papua New Guinea 900 miles from the nearest road, at an arts festival with 30 different local tribes including Marlboro smoking mud men and (alleged) cannibals who'd never seen a saxophone.

Look me up on Instagram and/or Facebook for the latest gig dates and venues.

Some other stuff..
35 + years playing tenor, soprano, baritone and alto saxes. flutes, clarinet, bass clarinet, harmonica, drums, computers, piano, bass, trombone, guitar & composing, plus teaching ensembles, private students & music theory. 

I  have extensive experience playing tons of private & corporate events, club dates, and yes, weddings all over Manhattan and the Tri-State area - here's just a few select venues..

The Skyscraper Museum, Barnes and Noble.com, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, The Yale Club, Christian Dior, The Century Club

Scholastic Inc. - for JK Rowling's first book release in the US, Merrill Lynch, The National Academy of Design, For the Annual Meeting of the Global Heads of Chase Bank, Manhattan Penthouse, The Central Park Boathouse, Airpower Museum, Republic Airport, LI, NY

Wolftrap Barns. Washington DC., The Kittle House, Chappaqua, NY,

The Manor House, Princeton, NJ, Troutbeck, Amenia, NY.

I've done recording sessions for pop, rock and jazz, some TV, film and video, and some dance and theater productions. 
I've also 
been the band director at the Trevor Day School  -a private high school in Manhattan since 1992. 

Home town is Melbourne, Australia. Started playing some drums in 3rd grade, some flute when I was around 10, then played in rock bands as a teenager, mainly on bass; started on the sax when we needed horns for our ska cover band. Moved to Sydney in 1983 and went to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, completing my degree in1987. Worked and toured all over Australia with many different jazz, rock and theater groups, then relocated to NY in 1990 and been gigging and teaching here ever since.

Here's some of the bands and projects I've performed, toured and/or recorded with..
Little Annie & Paul Walfisch - Genderful
http://www.discogs.com/Little-Annie-Paul-Wallfisch-Genderful/release/2442044

The Pink Noise Saxophone Quartet - The Jig Is Up. 
My band from 1996-2002. Read a review of  The Jig is Up
‘Ryhmically driven, mood shifting music with blues and bop roots, keeping an anarchic energy barely in check. They wove themes of jazz, blues and ethnic folk melodies into a huge sphere of sound that was always tuneful’ Cadence Magazine. 
   

Myth Science 

(Knitting Factory Works) Review;  Love in Outer Space (Knitting Factory Works) Downtown Jazz & Other Sounds (Knitting Factory compilation 1997) Myth Science - Time Out (compilation) (Knitting Factory 1996)LOVE IN OUTER SPACE is a collection of Sun Ra compositions. JazzTimes (10/96, p.102) - "...[a] jumpin', happy set....They do capture some of the raw, emotive, unbridled spirit of Ra's mid-sized groups circa 1956-60 in Chicago....Myth Science gets beyond cool bar fare: it's lounge wizardry for thinkers.

With Firewater:
'Psychopharmacology' -  2001 - Jetset Records
The Ponzi Scheme’ - 1998 - Universal Records.
'Some Strange Reaction'  - Jetset Records - 1997. 

With Firewater also on the soundtrack of Clay Pigeons

The Muggles Play the Music of Harry Potter
A project of music written for the author of the Harry Potter book series J.K Rowling on her 1st visit to the US. 

The Modern Congress - by Sydney guitarist and producer, Tim Rollinson. I'm on a couple of tracks..
http://www.inthemix.com.au/reviews/music/20456/
 

The Last of the International Playboys 
A fine lounge album featuring some of my arranging and compositions. Vegas Jazz & Latin Lounge (Transcontinental Records)   Led by my dear friend Walter Kuehr, who runs the Main Squeeze accordion store on the lower east side, and is leader of the famed all girl accordion orchestra - http://www.mainsqueezeorchestra.com/gallery.html - who I've performed with numerous times, plus done some arranging and compositions. The Main Squeeze Orchestra; A band of 16 women accordionists led by late, great friend of mine Walter Kuehr. 
 

Rob Reddy’s Small Town  The Book of the Storm (2007) Reddy Music RED-002 - Recorded live at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.  I'm playing Soprano and Tenor sax; http://robreddy.com/music-store/the-book-of-the-storm/

Virgil Moorefield Ensemble: 
‘The Temperature in Hell is Over 3000 Degrees’. (Tdzadik Records); 
Unsettled Scores (Cuneiform Records). Various artists.

 

The Original Otto Orchestra
One from the archives..Circa Sydney, 1986
"Don't bother with the covers bands. Only The Original Otto Orchestra has the right stuff. Fortunately for true music lovers, music from their vintage years as well as from their astonishing comeback ('Where the hell have these characters been? I mean what planet have they been on?' - Variety Gazette) is available on modern discs for the connoisseur. While the Ottos compositions and arrangements for massed saxophones (four of them in all) do not shun the spectacular, the loopy and the surreal, there is a serious intent here to explore the timbres and the blended tones of what Debussy, when asked to compose for saxophone, called, 'this strange aquatic instrument'. Each of the four members in fact plays at least two of the saxophone family. The frequency range is impressive - from bass sax, up through baritone and tenor to soprano. Whether buzzing like bagpipes, hooting coolly or roaring like fundamentalist preachers, the Ottos unfailingly intrigue the ear with their textures, harmonies and tones."
By John Clare from  http://www.rufusrecords.com.au/artists.html   

This CD 'Stairways to Heaven' is from an Australian TV variety show that featured a band every week doing their own version of Stairway to Heaven. I'm on it with the band 'Pardon Me Boys' - fronted by ex Jimmy and the Boys frontman, Ignatius Jones - 
Here's a  really old clip, circa 1988, of us doing their hit version of: Stairway to Heaven.

More Discography:Norman Salant - Various releases 2010-2013 -  http://normansalant.bandcamp.com/album/grace-single
Joe Gallant & Illuminati Big Band 'Code of The West' Scratchy Records 1994 - 
Joe had a pretty big and wild band back in the 90's - Did some fun gigs with them at the old Tribeca Knitting Factory.

Over the years, as a sideman:
Pinetop Perkins; The blues piano legend - (as seen on a Chicago street corner in The Blues Brothers movie)
The Big Apple Circus 
Ballin the Jack - led by Matt Darriau
Ska legend Roscoe Gordon
George Kilby Junior and the Coolerators
The Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet 
Radio cult figure Joe Frank
The Flux Quartet 
Joe Gallant and the Illuminati Big Band
The Australian Environmental Orchestra. (New Guinea Tour)
The New York Theater Workshop
Pardon Me Boys 

Selected performances and venues:
Irving Plaza, The Mercury Lounge, The North Sea Jazz Festival, Fez Bang on a Can, Avery Fischer Hall, The Knitting Factory, Pori Jazz Festival - Finland, Soha Arts Festival, 
Merkin Hall, MOMA, Barbican Center, London, Singapore Arts Festivals, Hamumis Festival, Papua New Guinea

Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Arts festivals, American Festival of Microtonal Music, New York Theater Workshop
LaMama, NY Microtonal Festival, PS 122, Dixon Place
La Mama Galleria, CBGB's, and Gallery 313 next door - now a Patagonia store :(, plus extensive US, Australian and world touring and club performances. 

 

Compositions have been presented by:
The Jazz Composers Collective
Texaco NY, and Heineken NY Jazz Festivals
Edge Fest, Ann Arbor MI
The Absolute Ensemble
Meridian Arts Ensemble
Roulette, NY 
Dixon Place
Kostabi World
Danspace @ St Marks Church

Education:Undergraduate Music Theory course; Evening Division, The Julliard School, 2014-2016

Orchestral Conducting: Vincent LaSelva. Julliard School, 2009/2010

Sydney Conservatorium of Music (now part of Sydney University) Australia. Jazz Studies, Class of 1987 Studied w/Mike Nock, Roger Frampton, Don Burrows, James Morrison.Saxophone studies w/John Barrett, (Melb), and Col Loughlan, (Syd.).

American Music Center,

Australian Arts Council grant recipient. 

Dummy - The movie..

I can be seen and heard in the movie Dummy-  sometimes available on Netflix in the US, and  everywhere else on DVD.  It's a comedy about a depressed suburban ventriloquist; it was done a while back in the early aughts, and it's pretty entertaining - it was a lot fun to play drums in a punk klemzmer band - especially with Mila Jovovitch as the lead singer. 
I'm also the clarinet player on the sound track with music written and produced by keyboardist and producer extrodinaire Paul Walfisch. Check out this clip with Mila J. on vocals, me on drums.

A review of the Pink Noise Sax Quartet album, The Jig Is Up:


New York City's Pink Noise Saxophone Quartet is led by Australian tenor and soprano saxophonist Tim Otto , who has also performed with Myth Science Joe Gallant , and the Virgil Moorefield Ensemble. Otto formed the quartet in 1994, applying the "Pink Noise" name to the group in a reference to both the lush harmonies of combined saxophones and the abrasiveness of low frequency static. Far from abrasive, however, the PNSQ juxtaposes street marches, funk, freewheeling jazz, blues, and Middle Eastern music, performing pieces with both solo and collective improvising as well as adventurous ensemble writing. The original quartet included Peck Allmond -- an alto and tenor saxophonist from the San Francisco Bay area who has also played with Don Cherry Peter Apfelbaum and the Julius Hemphill Sextet -- Norman Salant, and Blaise Siwula in addition to Otto . During the late '90s, the quartet went through a number of personnel changes, always retaining Otto in the driver's seat while evolving into a unit characterized by rigorous compositions and arrangements in addition to free-blowing improvisation. Other members of the PNSQ have also included Andy Laster  of Hydra , Interpretations of Lessness, the Julius Hemphill Sextet, New and Used, Ballin' The Jack , and Erik Friedlander 's Topaz -- on baritone saxophone, Canadian Michael Blake -- of John Lurie 's Lounge Lizards Groove Collective , and Kamikaze Ground Crew -- on tenor saxophone, and Briggan Krauss -- of Babkas , Wayne Horvitz's Pigpen, Good Kitty, Andrea Parkins' Cast Iron Fact, and his own recent trio with Horvitz and drummer Kenny Wollesen -- on alto saxophone. The Pink Noise Saxophone Quartet released its first CD, The Jig Is Up , on the independent Pink Tomato Music label in 1998. The CD features Otto , Allmond, Laster , and either Blake or Krauss augmented by the rhythm section of bassist Dom Richards and drummer Aaron Alexander in an energetic live session recorded on two dates in the summer of 1998 at the Knitting Factory's Tap Bar in NYC. The high spirits and humor of the recording are evident in the titles of the eight Tim Otto compositions, which include "Pass the Cous Cous," "Fish Eats Dog," and "Romance in Underpants." ~

 

Dave Lynch, All Music Guide

And for something completely different...

Please visit the page of one of my favorite visual artists: 
Susan Graham

©2018 by Tim Otto 

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