© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City jazz saxophonist Matt Otto is playing with 'more freedom' on his new album

A saxophonist performs in front of a microphone on a symphony stage. Behind him is a full big band featuring a standup bassist, drummer, guitarist, pianist and a variety of woodwind and brass instruments.
Matt Otto
Matt Otto, seen here performing at the Kauffman Center, released his new album "Kansas City Trio" just last week.

Matt Otto, a Kansas City jazz saxophonist and professor of jazz studies at the University of Kansas, is out with his new album "Kansas City Trio" that primarily focuses on standards.

Saxophonist Matt Otto is one of the most highly respected musicians in today's Kansas City jazz scene. He has shared the stage with numerous jazz greats, and also teaches at the University of Kansas as an associate professor of jazz studies.

Now, he's out with a new album titled "Kansas City Trio" that features primarily focuses on a set of jazz standards, while also mixing in three brand new originals.

"This is me trying to do justice to some of the great standards that I love to play," Otto said. "I love to improvise over tunes I've been playing since I was young, and so I have maybe a little more freedom on these than other tunes."

Otto joined KCUR's Up To Date to talk about his creative process, his new record and what it was like growing up in a family filled with musicians.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As an assistant producer on Up To Date, my goal is to amplify voices of people who serve as pioneers in their respective fields while shedding light on issues that affect underserved communities. I produce daily conversations to uplift and inspire the people of the Kansas City area to make the world a better place. You can reach me at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.