Willie Oteri

Instrument: Saxophone | Location: Austin

The breadth of such performing and recording situations is a testament to his musical versatility and talent. In recent years, it is Oteri's role as composer and band leader which has garnered him increasing notoriety coupled with a notable unique style on guitar.
—Lori Hehr, Public Relations

Updated: March 17, 2019

Already established as a guitarist why change horses? Why not? Is reinvention a key to the creative process? Oteri explains, “I've always been an explorer and this need for change drives me to new frontiers. While some are cautious about change for me it's about accepting it.”

Oteri's flute and sax work became his focus recently after a purchase of a new flute in 2016 and a couple of tenor saxes in early 2017. “I played flute in my late teens after borrowing my sister's flute, since she was not very interested in it, and played professionally for five or six years in the early part of my career along with guitar, bass and pedal steel, whatever seemed to be needed. Around this same time, I had an old Conn C Melody sax that I played for maybe a year until both the flute and sax needed more work than I could afford at the time. (see tragedy and time off from music in bio below) When I came back to music after several years off I focused on guitar for a few reasons, one being I was living on a sailboat with not much space and guitar was small enough to use on the boat and compose. I did not think about getting back to flute and sax until I had produced several guitar-based albums but alas, here I am and looking forward to recording and performing anyway I can get it out” Willie will still be playing guitar when called for, but for now.......forward.

Willie Oteri is an anomaly in the music world having survived tragedy and financial hardship that forced him to quit music as a profession in the early part of his career. After nearly ten years away from performing and most of this time not even owning an instrument Oteri came back to music, first part-time then full. Older, wiser and as eager and excited as anyone to again have a life of music.

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”Startling and innovative with licks that are delightfully his own.”

—Peoples Press

“Initially Oteri offers a more languid approach that creates mood, something rather lacking among this column’s CDs, with their in-yer-face anxiety to please.”

—Stuart Nicholson - JazzTimes

“Jamming with you must be one of the greatest things—your music sounds great, and it always amazes me how far you can stretch a musical idea. Brilliant!”

—Guitarist Enrico Crivellaro

”My favorite avant garde guitarist! “ —Habitual Grace Records



Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

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