Tim Otto

Musician, Composer, Teacher


Tim OttoTim Otto and Walter KuehrTim Otto

Tim Otto

Photos L-R. In the studio; w/Walter Kuehr at Coney Island; Performing at the Jazz Composers Collective; At Rockaway Beach Surf Club w// Sean Wayland and Eric Halvorson.

    In my travels as a saxophonist and woodwind player, composer, teacher, arranger, plus as a performer in films, TV and in theater, I've worked all over the globe; 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 (alledged) cannibals.

I don't update this page very  much, or use it for regular gig announcements, so please also look me up on Facebook for upcoming shows.
Among random gigs in the city, I've been rehearsing and playing some with the NYC Ska Orchestra, led by the great Kevin Batchelor on trumpet, plus some Rockaway Beach gigs with my quartet - the next one is Saturday July 1st on the Boardwalk and Beach 97th st. (at the big food concessions - save the date!) I  hope to be back doing our summer Friday night series at Umas with The Rockaway Jazz Collective, dates tba. Also playing with singer songwriter Jim Knable at City Winery doing the occasional 'Klemzer brunch. Plus some private and commercial gigs here and there; (contact me via email for bookings).

The Rockaway Beach Jazz Festival which I've been curating for a few years now, will be held on Saturday July 22nd 2017- It's an amazing lineup this year -
6pm - Vincent Chancey & Phat Chance, 7:30 Jc Stylles Organ Trio & at 9pm, the amazing Jay Rodriguez
So locals and tourists alike,  put it in your calendar!

Check out the Jazz Festival FB page for more info, pics, and full personel listing. (If the link doesn't work, look up Rockaway Beach Jazz Festival on Facebook.)

The 2016 festival was a big hit - Thanks to The Ancient Quartet, (featuring Kevin Batchelor on trumpet.), Funksters 718 - (Piano/keys trio, and yes, they're from Brooklyn), and my good friend Richard Bennett who brought out his awesome new band,.. 'The Raga & the Abstract Truth' 
Here's a nice little write up from the local paper - The Wave.  
The 2015 festival took place on Labor Day weekend (Sat. Sept 5th) and featured Lisa Parrott with her trio, G.R.A.S.S, (Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society), and the quartet version of the band Flying Home. Thanks to The Wave for a very nice article about the 2015 Festival. And here's another from the NY Times about the 2014 fest, plus a nice video. 2014 featured the music of the talented tenor sax man Michael Blake, trombone virtuoso Curtis Hasslebring, plus my Quartet, bringing to Rockaway a cast of some of the best NY improvising musicians at Rockaway for the first time.

My latest recording project/CD is.. CITY STATE  by HARMONY HALL .on Bandcamp. Featuring some of my favorite NY (and one Australian) musicians - Steve Elson, Alto; Peck Allmond, trumpet; Curtis Hasslebring, Trombone; Barney McAll, piano; Cameron Greider, guitar; Dom Richards, bass; and John Mettam on drums. This octet is playing a set of tunes I wrote for my students, and thought it would be a good idea to record them. Buy the charts, or the tracks. (See the Charts page).

For other samples of my music, Check out the Band page, and listen to some music samples.

For all you clarinetists out there, here's one of my etudes for any clarinet - free download:
Etude for Bass Clarinet

Some other bio stuff:
30 + years playing tenor, soprano, baritone and alto saxes. flutes, clarinet, bass clarinet, harmonica, drums, computers, piano, bass, trombone, guitar and composing. Recording sessions for pop, rock and jazz, TV, film and video, dance and theater productions. Band teacher at the Trevor Day 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, then started on the sax when we needed horns for our ska covers. Moved to Sydney in 1983 and completed the Jazz Studies course at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1987. 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.

Education, etc
Chromatic Harmony and Analysis: Samuel Zyman. Julliard School, 2015-2016
Orchestral Conducting: Vincent LaSelva. Julliard School, 2009/2010
Sydney Conservatorium of Music (now part of Sydney University) Australia. Class of 1987
Studies w/Mike Nock, Roger Frampton, Don Burrows, James Morrison.
Saxophone studies w/John Barrett, (Melb), and Col Loughlan, (Syd.).
Saxophone studies with Paul Cohen, Manhattan School of Music 1991
Composition studies with Edgar Grana 1996
American Music Center, ASCAP award, and Australian Arts Council grant recipient.
Audio Engineer at Harvestworks/Studio Pass. NY, 1991-94.

Contact info timottomusic@gmail.com

444 Manhattan Avenue, 6G. New York, NY 10026


Tim Otto & Harmony Hall - City State
I wrote some charts for High School & Middle School level bands; check out the Charts link on the left sidebar. As  recorded by my octet,  Harmony Hall. 

I can be seen and heard in the movie Dummy -sometimeds available on Netflix in the US, and  everywhere else on DVD.
Tim Otto appears in the movie 'Dummy'
I'm the drummer in Mila Jovovitchs' band, plus the clarinet player on the sound track. It's a comedy about a depressed suburban ventriloquist. Check out this clip:
Mila Jovovitch with Tim Otto clip
Mila J. on vocals, me on drums.

I can also be heard on the soundtrack of the movie. Clay Pigeons performing with Firewater.

And for something completely different, please look at the page of one of my favorite artists:
Susan Graham

Copyright 2016 by Tim Otto. All Rights Reserved. Last updated June 2016