Shinichi Otsu

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Shinichi Otsu was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan, and came to the U.S. to attend Lon Morris College in Texas and then Berklee College of Music to study piano and Hammond organ. Upon graduating from Berklee in 1999, he joined Greg Piccolo and Heavy Juice as a keyboardist and musical director, and toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada, including an appearance at the W.C. Handy Awards ceremony in Memphis, Tennessee. 

In addition to collaborating with Piccolo, he has been a bandleader himself and a saxophonist for Grammy-nominated band Roomful of Blues, as well as sideman for Jimmie Vaughan. He has performed with Jaimoe from the Allman Brothers Band, Jay Geils, and Sam Butera’s the Wildest, and worked for the Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning musical Rent and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Career Highlights
  • Private piano and Hammond organ instructor
  • Performances with Marty Allen, Tommy Tune, Jean Carne, Jerry Portnoy, and Jody Williams, among many others
  • Opened for Dr. John, Robert Cray, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Al Martino, and Johnny Winter
  • Albums as leader include Sonant, Orifice, Modern Contrast, Inside of Sound, and Romantic, among others
  • Recordings as sideman include Who Did This? by Greg Piccolo and Fortune Cookie: Live at Sculler’s Jazz Club by Michelle Willson, among others
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
In Their Own Words

"I would like to organize around and focus on my students’ individual challenges and goals. I believe that this is the best way to achieve mastery. My students should be able to adapt the materials we work on towards their own artistic goals and express themselves through their instruments."

"I had been on the road over 200 days a year for many years. Through this experience, I appreciate what we need to learn at school in order to be successful in the real world. The music life can be rich, but it is also demanding. I’d like to share my knowledge and experience with my students to help to equip them technically and emotionally for the challenges ahead."