Barry Finnerty

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Barry Finnerty
Birth name Michael Barry Finnerty
Born (1951-12-03) December 3, 1951 (age 65)
San Francisco, California, United States
Origin Hong Kong
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 music arranger, best known for his work as a touring and session musician for artists such as Miles Davis and the Crusaders. Finnerty is also the author of two books on music improvisation.

Music career[edit]

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 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 spent some time living in Hong Kong with his mother in the early 1960s. There, at the age of 14, he began playing electric guitar and soon joined a band that opened a show for Herman's Hermits. On returning to San Francisco, he became friends with guitarist Jim Checkley, who recruited him to join Beefy Red in 1969. He played in the 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 Finnerty 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 the Davis autobiography.

In recent years Finnerty has worked both as a session player and leading his own band, working on a number of solo projects.


  • 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 Chico Hamilton



External links[edit]