Barry Finnerty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Barry Finnerty
Barry Finnerty in April 2018.jpg
Background information
Birth name Michael Barry Finnerty
Born (1951-12-03) December 3, 1951 (age 66)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts

Michael Barry Finnerty (born December 3, 1951) is an American jazz guitarist, keyboardist, singer, songwriter, and arranger, known for his work as a touring and recording session musician for Miles Davis, the Crusaders, the Brecker Brothers, Hubert Laws, and Ray Barretto. Finnerty is also the author of books on music improvisation and a autobiographical novel Start released in 2016.

Music career[edit]

Finnerty was born in San Francisco and raised on the West Coast, studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and University of California Berkeley.

He lived in Hong Kong with his mother in the early 1960s. When he was fourteen, he began playing electric guitar and joined a band that opened a show for Herman's Hermits. On returning to San Francisco, he became friends with guitarist Jim Checkley, who invited him to join Beefy Red in 1969. He played in that band for several years.[1]

He moved to New York City after attending Berklee College of Music for a short time in 1971. In 1974 he began playing with Chico Hamilton, Airto Moreira, and Flora Purim. In 1975 he became a member of the Joe Farrell quartet,and later in the decade played with Hubert Laws, Tower of Power, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, and Ray Barretto.

Finnerty played and recorded with Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker (1977–81) and The Crusaders (1979–84), in addition to touring in Europe with Billy Cobham in 1980. He played and recorded with Miles Davis in 1981, being featured on much of Davis's 1981 album The Man with the Horn and is mentioned in Davis's autobiography.

Finnerty has worked both as a session musician and as leader of his own bands. He has authored books on jazz improvisation and an autobiographical novel “Start” released in 2016.[2]


Finnerty is the son of actor Warren Finnerty (1925–1974) who appeared in numerous films including Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Easy Rider (1969). He is married to artist and songwriter Clarita Zarate.


As leader

  • New York City (1982)
  • 2B Named Later (Cheetah, 1988)
  • Straight Ahead (Arabesque, 1994)
  • Space Age Blues (Hot Wire, 1998)
  • Trazz! (Birdland, 2003)
  • Manhattan Sessions vol.1 (ESC, 2010)
  • Blues for Trane (Cheetah, 2010)
  • Nothing's Gonna Be All Right (Birdland, 2014)

With Miles Davis

With The Crusaders

With the Brecker Brothers

With Chico Hamilton

With Afro Elements

  • Out of the Centre (UYM, 2014)


External links[edit]