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.
With a small budget he released two well received blues/rock albums in the late ‘90s before moving to Austin Texas where he quickly befriended some of Austin’s top Jazz musicians leading to the 2000 release of Willie Oteri’s Jazz Gunn, Concepts of MateMaToot. Wanting to further pursue the freedom of electric Jazz and improvisation Oteri contracted producer Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Chucho Valdes ) to produce Spiral Out (2003-2005) a progressive jazz album featuring King Crimson and Zappa alums Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Mike Keneally with the added help of Austin trumpeter Ephraim Owens. This well received DIW (Diskunion Japan) release produced tours in Europe and Japan.
In 2003 Oteri relocated to Italy where he spent 4 years performing regularly and touring Germany and Slovakia. Several performances included musicians from the cult-favorite, Spiral Out: Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin, and Ronan Chris Murphy as well as other adventurous musical visionaries like Chris Boulet and Markus Reuter. During this time Oteri co-hosted the ambitious Super Sessions seeded by Chris Boulet. These performances were named for their lengthy non-stop goals of 14, 33 1/3, and 45 hours! They were a great success in Italy and soon lead to the first Super Session in the United States (Phoenix, AZ) where Oteri performed before returning to Austin in 2008. In Austin Oteri began working with trumpeter Dave Laczko forming their duo, WD-41. Their first release soon followed with the self-titled album in 2009 whose success quickly lead to the release of WD-41, +2 Temi Per Cinema (2010) featuring the talents of guest musicians Dino J.A. Deane and Scott Amendola. The success of WD-41 brought Oteri back to Europe for WD-41’s performance at the 2011 Portello River Film Festival. During their tour in Europe, Oteri and Lazcko recorded live performances with German and Italian names Schroeder, Sylvia Oelkrug, Jan Fitschen, and Alessandro Arcuri leading to the international release of the vividly eclectic jazz album Shrunken Head Shop, Live in Germany (released 2013).
Oteri has continued improvised classical and jazz performances and promises improvised recordings from his latest project, Oteri Acoustic, a tribute to the underground history of improvisation. He is planing a tour of Italy for the Spring of 2016 and is continuing work with WD-41 for their much anticipated 2016 album.
“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