Joe Finn

Jazz Guitar


What they’re saying:

“One of the best post boppers on the scene today.”   Dom Minasi

“It’s nice to see that someone is still coming up with fresh new ways of expression on the jazz guitar."  Jimmy Bruno   

“A new voice on jazz guitar.”  Len Bukowski Cadence Magazine

“Finn reveals a smooth tone and immaculate technique, reminiscent of such players as Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis.” 

Dave Nathan All Music Guide



About Joe Finn


Born in Hartford Connecticut, the son of an amateur pianist and composer, guitarist Joe Finn was surrounded by music from the very first. By age ten he was playing his first guitar and giving lessons to kids in the neighborhood. After high school he got a Bachelor’s Degree in Music at Plattsburgh State and had the good fortune to play and study with Roy Burns, James Spaulding, Jim Miller, Billy Hawkins and Kirk Nurock. After college he spent ten years traveling the United States and Canada playing the guitar in a wide variety of situations. Finn has now settled in upstate New York where he concentrates on local performances and teaching. He has been featured in various festival and concert settings for several years since the release of his initial CD as a leader in 1991. The album entitled Straight Ahead received critical acclaim as well as extensive national airplay. His quartet’s subsequent appearance on the BET network’s Jazz Discovery Showcase won their 1998 award in the jazz instrumental category. Five more independent CD releases Guitar Signatures and Duets , Blue Tomorrow,Destiny Blue, String Theory and 2019’s Generational Dynamics have helped to establish Joe’s reputation as a one of today’s top players. 








October 5, 2019  9:00  PM

with Pete Sweeney Trio

9 Maple Ave.

Saratoga Springs, New York



November 1, 2019 7:00 pm

with Phil Allen Concert Band

A Place For Jazz

Concert Series

Schenectady, New York



November 2,2019  9:00 pm

Joe Finn Trio


Albany, New York



December 7,2019  9:00 pm

Joe Finn Trio


Albany, New York




2019 generational quartet featuring Tom Finn on alto sax.

Tracks include Groove Merchant, Mo’ Better Blues, Embraceable You, Segment and more. Two generations of Finn-tastic sounds.


2005 Quartet release

This CD also features: Without A Song, Fietio de Oracao, Lush Life, I Get A Kick Out Of You, Never To Return and Bolivia with guitar, bass, drums and piano.

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Blue Quartet

Destiny Blue includes: Body And Soul, Anthropology, Upper Manhattan Medical Group, An Old Piano Plays The Blues, Fall, Thinking Out Loud, A Portrait of Jenny, Midnight Voyage and Destiny Blue.

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More Blue Quartet

Blue Tomorrow tracks include: Muddy In The Bank, Birk’s Works, In Your Own Sweet Way, Wrong Together, Rhythm-a-ning, Early Maria, Sister Cheryl, Lucky Southern, Dolphin Dance and Union Pacific

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Solo guitar selections and vocals with guitar and piano.

Guitar Signatures features: When I Take My Sugar To Tea, Ain’t Misbehavin’, I Get The Neck Of The Chicken, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket, The April Fools, Alfie, It Had To Be You, The Second Time Around, If I Had You, Like Someone In Love, A New Kind Of Love and Walking Line.

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1993 debut recording with original compositions arranged for quintet.

This collection features: Trane Time, Dizzy, Black Dome, Burning Flames From The Fiery Furnace, Blues Groove, Esprit, Cryptologia and Jingle Voutie

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Contact Us

Our Office

27 Depot Lane

Old Chatham

New York 12136

518 794 8436

 The Jazz Guitar Almanac

October 1, 2019 Tuesday

Tip of the day: Be a link in the chain of stylistic continuity. Seek out the wisdom and insights of players from the previous generation. Offer guidance and opportunities to worthy younger players.

October 2, 2019 Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Howard Roberts! [1929]

Happy Birthday, Joe Giglio!!! [1954]

Tip of the day: Today’s birthday boy reveals himself to be a master chord technician in his series of instructional books. They contain a wealth of applied harmonic approaches that are both practical and beautiful.

October 3, 2019 Thursday

Tip of the day: Develop the ability to play standard tunes in every key. This will solidify your knowledge of the fingerboard and be good practice for accompanying vocalists.

October 4, 2019 Friday

Tip of the day: Learn the lyrics to jazz standards. This will deepen your understanding of the melodies and improve your phrasing.

October 5, 2019 Saturday

Tip of the day: In performance based activities such as music there is a distinction between thinking and doing. When you are thinking about doing it, you’re not doing it. You are consciously thinking.  When you are simply doing it, you are performing at the limits of human potential. 

October 6, 2019 Sunday

Happy Birthday, Carmen Mastren! [1913]

Happy Birthday, Mark Whitfield! [1966]

Happy Birthday, Lenny Argese!!! [1942]

Tip of the day: Do not neglect the diligent study of the arpeggios, scales and modes. They are the vocabulary and grammar of jazz improvisation.

October 7, 2019 Monday

Happy Birthday, Wilson “Serious” Myers! [1906]

Tip of the day: Transposing instruments produce a sound at a fixed interval above or below the written note. This allows a player to switch easily from among various sized instruments of the same type like alto and tenor sax.

October 8, 2019 Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Mike Moreno (1978)

Tip of the day: The compositions of Thelonious Monk lend themselves to guitarist’s interpretations. Try Blue Monk, Evidence or Well You Needn’t on for size.

October 9, 2019 Wednesday

Happy Birthday, Elmer Chester Snowden! [1900]

Happy Birthday, Frank Dibussolo!! [1951]

Happy Birthday, Pete Cosey! [1943]

Tip of the day: Avoid interrupting your improvised melodic lines because of the problems posed by the harmonic setting. Find ways to connect ideas into seamless, smooth, continuous statements by identifying common tones from one chord to the next.

October 10, 2019 Thursday

Happy Birthday, Lee Blair ! [1905]

Tip of the day: There is a certain elitism in the jazz world. Lots of players and  aficionados are very concerned with the cutting edge of the style. They want to hear the hot young players. They want to be hip to the new innovation whatever that may happen to be. I suppose jazz will always honor the innovator and that's certainly as it should be. This is perhaps one of the factors that causes jazz to appeal to a niche audience.

October 11, 2019 Friday

Happy Birthday, Peter Sprague! [1955]

Tip of the day: On the other hand, if jazz suddenly became more popular it would probably be a positive thing. The recent NEA article mentioned a spike in popularity in the aftermath of the Ken Burns documentary a few years ago. Paradoxically enough that film was quite controversial among the musicians themselves. The attention the documentary brought to jazz resulted in an increased interest among the public, at least for a while. 

October 12, 2019 Saturday

Happy Birthday, Yoshiaki Masuo! [1946]

Happy Birthday, Ed Cherry! [1954]

Tip of the day: Columbus Day is a great celebration for Americans of Italian ancestry. It is in the spirit of this holiday that we give you “The All Italian Jazz Guitar Section” including Eddie Lang, Nick Lucas, Joe Pass, Harry Volpe, Carmen Mastren, Al Viola, Pat Martino, Bucky Pizzarelli, Don Arnone, John Pizzarelli, Remo Palmieri, Joe Puma, Tony Rizzi, Jimmy Bruno, Sal Salvador, Jack Fragomeni, Chuck D’Aloia, Frank Vignola, Robert Conti, Michele Ramo,Tony Purrone, Reno De Stefano, Joe Giglio, Tony DeCaprio, Joe Carbone, Al Caiola, Lou Mecca, Rich DiCarlo, Gene Bertoncini, John Pisanno, Frank Dibussolo, Franco Cerri, Bill DeArango, Al Gafa, Tommy Tedesco, Tony Mottola, Dom Minasi, James Chirillo, Joe Cinderella, Joe Negri, Mike Musillami, Dennis Sandole, Sal Salvador, Robert Conti, Ron Anthony and Joe Diorio. Bella musica!!

October 13, 2019 Sunday

Tip of the day: The greatest achievements of a civilization are frequently to be found in the arts. As noted in today’s proverb, the artist’s ability to tap into eternity is a deep and profound mystery.

October 14, 2019 Monday
Happy Birthday, Kazumi Watanabe! [1953]

Happy Birthday, Garrison Fewell! [1953]

Tip of the day: A guitar amp with twin 12 inch speakers in an open back cabinet is a good all-purpose setup. This design has been around now for over 40 years and remains popular with jazzmen and players in the other styles as well.

October 15, 2019 Tuesday
Happy Birthday, Mickey Baker! [1925]

Tip of the day: Rare and well done: Recordings from independent jazz guitarists who are not signed tomajor labels may be hard to find but are very much worth the effort. Fred Fried, Rick Stone, Charlie Robinson, Tony DeCaprio, Ted Vieira, Greg Clayton, Mitch Seidman, Steve Carter, Doug Proper, Tom Lippincott, Kevin Van Sant, Eric Elias and Steve Herberman are good examples of this.

October 16, 2019 Wednesday
Happy Birthday, Mary Halvorson !!!   [1980]

Tip of the day: The microtonal possibilities of the guitar particularly on blue notes are powerful and evocative. The technique is frequently overstated by many rock players but finds more tasteful practitioners among the likes of Kenny Burrell, Russell Malone and Herb Ellis.

October 17, 2019     Thursday
Happy Birthday, Barney Kessel ! [1923]

Happy Birthday, Howard Alden! [1958]

Tip of the day:  Performance is the hallmark of understanding: Let your guitar do the talking.

October 18, 2019 Friday

Happy Birthday, Tony Purrone!!! [1954]

Happy Birthday, Rick Vandivier!!! (1954) 

Tip of the day: Lots of top players greatly enjoy the transcription process and will go on with great enthusiasm about things they learned from various recordings. It's really not the drudgery it may seem to be. To me it's all about enlightenment and discovery. 

October 19, 2019 Saturday
Happy Birthday, Sam Farkas!! [1953]

Happy Birthday, Pete Chilver! [1924]

Happy Birthday, John Mills Jr. ! [1910]

Happy Birthday, Jostein Gulbrandsen!  [198?]

Tip of the day: A plywood archtop features a laminated top that is pressed into the requisite shape. Though not as resonant as hand carved tops, they can be produced more cheaply and in greater numbers.

October 20, 2019 Sunday

Happy Birthday, Carl Kress ! [1907]

Happy Birthday, Martin Taylor! [1956]

Tip of the day: Well it’s that time of year again. Whether your taste runs towards chestnuts like “Autumn Leaves” and “Autumn in New York” or the modernity of Wayne Shorter’s “Fall” you can’t miss with a reference to this beautiful season.

October 21, 2019 Monday

Happy Birthday, Lord Westbrook! [1921]

Happy Birthday, Guillermo Bazzola! [1962]

Tip of the day: The guitar can be an arranger’s resource. A chord melody solo sounds great when the voices are broken out over a horn section.

October 22, 2019 Tuesday

Happy Birthday, Cyril Blake!!! [1897]

Tip of the day:  Adult guitar students are usually not beginners. They generally have a ton of bad habits, a poor work ethic, unrealistic expectations and insufficient time to practice the lesson material; which adds up to a formula for frustration and failure. While I have had a few adult students who have done really well, my experience in general has been that they stick with it until it dawns on them that they need to put forth regular sustained effort in order to see real progress.

October 23, 2019 Wednesday
Happy Birthday, Kenny Wessel! [1966]

Tip of the day: Left handed guitars are more expensive than their counterparts and are relatively rare. Since it is probably no more difficult for a left handed beginner to start learning on a right handed guitar they might as well get off on the “right” foot. Remember that there are no left handed trumpets, trombones, saxophones, etc. The other issue is that the quality of instruction available for left handed guitar is a big problem.

October 24, 2019 Thursday

Happy Birthday, Lawrence Marrero! [1900]

Happy Birthday, Daniel Corzo! [1963]

Tip of the day: Chord symbols are subject to interpretation. Learn a variety of voicings and substitutions that will allow you to color the music in as many ways as you can.

October 25, 2019 Friday

Happy Birthday, Eddie Lang! [1933]

Happy Birthday, Edmond “Doc” Souchon!! [1897]

Happy Birthday, Arthur Rhames !! [ 1957 ]

Happy Birthday, Jack Leroy Petersen!!! (1933)

Tip of the day: Several fingerings are possible for any given melody on the guitar. There is bound to be disagreement among experts as to what constitutes the “best” choice but this is due to the nature of the instrument itself.

October 26, 2019 Saturday

Happy Birthday, Sterling Conaway!!!! [1900]

Happy Birthday, Milton Nascimento !! [1942]

Tip of the day: Never pass up the chance to see a master perform. You may feel at first like taking a hammer to your guitar, but use the inspiration to practice harder and take your playing to the next level.

October 27, 2019 Sunday

Happy Birthday, Philip Catherine! [1942]

Happy Birthday, Folke Eriksberg! [1910]

Happy Birthday, Uffe Steen!! [1954]

Tip of the day: Always tune up to pitch. If you go past pitch, tune back below it and turn the peg up again. If you tune downward the strings will slip flat as you play due to catching on the nut and whatever play is present in the tuning mechanism.

October 28, 2019 Monday

Happy Birthday, Tuck Andress! [1952]

Happy Birthday, Kurt Rosenwinkle!! [1970]

Tip of the day: Harmony is referred to as the vertical element in music as the chords align themselves on the page in an up and down fashion. Melody is the horizontal element as its contours appear across the page from left to right.

October 29, 2019 Tuesday

Tip of the day: Every waking moment is an opportunity for learning and development. This is true even when you get bad advice , experience how something should *not* be handled, or suffer the misdeeds of some misguided soul. It is hard to overstate the value of developing the wisdom or judgment to know the difference between good advice and the "other kind". Sometimes lessons learnt "the hard way" have the greatest value. 

October 30, 2019 Wednesday

Tip of the day: The six tones that result from the linking of two triads can be used as improvisational material. Eb [Eb-G-B] and F [F-A-C] will work well over C-7, F7 or Ebmaj#11 and will open up many interesting interval jumps.

October 31, 2019 Thursday

Happy Birthday, Joey Goldstein! [1953]

Tip of the day: Trick or treat? If you have any hopes of becoming a “monster”, you’ll have to practice, practice, and practice.

THE JAZZ GUITAR ALMANAC is published here in monthly installments on the first of each month. Thank you for stopping by!