Matt Otto featuring Megan Birdsall
Megan Birdsall, a gifted musician who was born in Motown, grew up in the home of jump jazz, and lives part time in Music City. Her haunting melodies and evocative lyrics rest on a bed of traditional country instruments playing anything but traditional country. Influenced by a diverse array of writers such as Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Will Oldham and Joni Mitchell, M Bird has fashioned a sound uniquely her own.
Matt Otto is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Kansas (KU) teaching Jazz Theory and Performance, Jazz Combo 1 and private lessons. Matt is also an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University 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 of Jazz, (BFA) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA). Having lived in Japan for 5 years, New York City for 7 years and Los Angeles for 6 years, he has performed with a variety of artists. While in Los Angeles, Matt co-founded of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective. 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.