Michael Barry Finnerty (born December 3, 1951) is an American jazz guitarist, keyboardist, and bassist, best known for his work as a session musician for artists like Miles Davis and the Crusaders. He is also the author of two books on music improvisation.

Finnerty is the son of Obie Award-winning actor Warren Finnerty (1924–1974), who appeared in numerous films including Cool Hand Luke and Easy Rider.



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

He spent some time living in Hong Kong with his mother in the early 60's. There, at age 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 fellow guitarist Jim Checkley, who eventually recruited him to join Beefy Red in 1969. He played in the band for several years.[1]

Finnerty in New York CityEdit

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, and is mentioned in the Davis autobiography.

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

Discography as leaderEdit



External linksEdit


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