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Chris Otto

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Chris Otto’s music is sometimes mellow, sometimes upbeat, and often experimental. At its heart is the natural beauty of the Native American flute that holds it all together. Influenced by folk traditions from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Scandinavia, the Andes, and Native America, Chris blends these sounds into a unique style of music. Experimental rock and the blues were influences during his formative years; those styles find their way into his music, as well. Chris is not of Native American heritage but has a love and respect for Native American music and the culture ti comes from.

Chris has been playing the Native American flute for more than 12 years. He hopes to bring Native American flute music to new audiences and bring the instrument into new genres of music. He is known as the flute/whistle player for the popular St. Louis Irish Folk/Rock band "Rusty Nail," but it was the Native American flute that first inspired him to perform and record music. He has played with experimental rock bands and jazz musicians in the St. Louis area and was a founding member of the percussion-based world music jam band, "The Raw Earth Experience."

His early love of music lead him to try a number of instruments in his search for musical expression. Playing trombone, piano, and harmonica gave Chris an appreciation of many forms of music, but none of them spoke through him. When he discovered the Native American flute, he knew that he had found his voice. Chris states, "The music is there in the flutes, you just have to let it out.”

After years of live performances, Chris released his first full length CD, "Rain on Broken Glass" in 2008. Now, seven years later, Chris is releasing a new CD, "Leaving the Path". As the name suggests, the new CD is a departure from the more mellow, new age feel of Chris' first CD. "Leaving the Path" combines folk traditions from around the world and adds elements of jazz, blue, and progressive rock. The result is music that is often upbeat, energetic, and experimental. As always, it is the natural beauty of the flute that gives life to the music. "Leaving the Path" is expected to be released in April.

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Chris Otto "Rain on Broken Glass"
(released on October 10, 2008)