“When you hear Zach Finnegan, you will love his sound, feel and presence. When you meet Zach Finnegan, you will be charmed by his gracious, honest, and warm demeanor combined with a contagious smile and a generous joy for life. When you discover how dedicated Zach Finnegan is to serving his community, you will realize how very special he is: as a musician and a messenger for good in our world. I certainly experienced all of the above when I met him last fall. I am proud to call Zach Finnegan a trusted friend and colleague.” 5/17/17
~Matt Wilson; Grammy Nominated Professional Freelance Musician/Educator/Composer/Bandleader
Zachary Finnegan was born in Mason City, Iowa and raised in Weston, Wisconsin. Currently residing in Bloomington, Indiana, pursuing a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies under the guidance and expertise of John Raymond, he has enjoyed a varied musical journey with work in performing, composing, education, and music business related items. Through Zach’s graduate and undergraduate studies, he has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with artists such as Matt Wilson, Walter Smith III, Michael Rodriguez, Tim Green, Michael Dease, Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely, Rodney Whitaker and Brandon Lee. Zach has played professionally with John Raymond, Steve Houghton, Thomas Walsh, and Brent Turney. Zach is a founding member of Omnos Quartet, The Crossroads Quintet, and part of the Indianapolis-based band, Clint Breeze and the Groove.
As a performer, Zach’s group Omnos Quartet has played multiple festivals, most notably opening for Dave Liebman and the New Light Quartet at the Riverfront Jazz Festival in 2017. Omnos recorded their debut album at Daly’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in December 2018. The Zachary Finnegan Quintet has also opened for Janet Planet at the Bull Falls Jazz Festival in 2018. Zach collectively began a group in Bloomington, IN entitled the, "Crossroads Quintet." They are comprised of five graduate students at Indiana University and play all original music. Zach has traveled as a solo guest artist with the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music Tour to seven European countries, featured with the choir and wind ensemble in churches and venues across Europe. His composition entitled, Hugh, was featured on a Jazz Studies promotional video for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2016.
Zach has proved to be comfortable leading new projects from creating bands to working with organizations within the community. Zach was the President of the Jazz Society of UWSP for two years. This outlet allowed the student organization to host guest artists, plan events, host jam sessions, and attend professional jazz concerts in Chicago, IL and Appleton, WI. This experience at UWSP stemmed similar outcomes as Zach transitioned to Indiana University, as he is now leading the Jacobs School of Music JEN (Jazz Education Network) Student Chapter. This partnership allows students to access national and international music resources. Zach has been appointed as an intern for Project Jumpstart through the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development.
As well, Zach is the manager of the group, Omnos Quartet, and assists booking duties for the, Crossroads Quintet, as well as assisting Travis Lee and Clint Breeze and the Groove. Understanding and functioning within the business side of the music business has been a passion of Zach's for some time, and has proved to be a positive networking aspect on his musical journey.
Zach is currently on staff at the Wausau Conservatory of Music as the Trumpet Artist. He teaches private lessons and camps throughout the year, as well as masterclasses to any and all ages. He also holds the position of Jazz Librarian at Indiana University.
"Zach is one of those rare special students who seem to have the entire skill set for being a very successful performer. He is always joyful, entrepreneurial, highly motivated, ambitious without being off-putting, and he connects with his audience musically and personally."
~Brent Turney; Associate Professor of Trumpet, Chair of Music Department, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Broadway in Chicago, Maynard Ferguson and Aretha Franklin Horn Section
Zachary has become a leader on the bandstand and an in-demand musician in the central Wisconsin area. Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in his playing due to his upbringing in the church as well as family influence, and he is consistently molding himself into a fine jazz artist due to his various life experiences and exceptional education. His love for music came at a very young age. His father, Joseph Finnegan, instilled a passion for the arts and is a role model for Zach in all facets of life to this day. Zach was an active performer throughout Junior High and High School as he participated in Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble at D.C. Everest, numerous pit orchestras, as well as four years in different Wisconsin State Honors groups (band, orchestra and jazz ensemble). A highlight from Zach’s high school experience was getting the honor to play a solo alongside professional musicians Wayne Bergeron and Eric Marienthal at the Shawano Jazz Festival where Zach was awarded the “Outstanding Soloist Award.” In addition, Zach traveled to seven European countries while performing with the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music program at 17 years of age.
Currently, Zach is in pursuit of a Masters Degree from Indiana University studying under the guidance of New York trumpet and flugelhorn player, John Raymond. Originally from Wausau, WI, Zach received degrees in both Jazz Performance and Music Education from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. He has studied with John Raymond, Brandon Lee, Patrick Phalen, Brent Turney and Mathew Buchman. At school, he has performed with Wind Ensemble's, Orchestra's, Jazz Ensemble's, and various Jazz Combos. Zach co-leads Omnos Quartet, a collaborative group that performs at venues across the state of Wisconsin, most notably opening for Dave Liebman at the Riverfront Jazz Festival in 2017. He enjoys booking, managing, and collaborating with music enthusiasts around the state, and has found a professional outlet with Omnos (which presents largely original compositions and arranged jazz standards). In addition, Zach is an avid composer for this group and other chamber ensembles. His quintet piece entitled, Hugh, was featured on a Jazz Studies Promotional video for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point music department in 2016.
Throughout his education and music career, Zach has performed with many well-known artists such as John Greiner's Swingshift Band, Hip Pocket, Water City Jazz Orchestra, Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music, Central Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra, Clark Hunt's Drive-By-Big-Band, The Jazz Orgy and as Guest Artist/Soloist with the SPASH Jazz Ensembles among other freelance work. In addition, he has shared the stage at Indiana University, UWSP, Brevard Jazz Institute, Chicago Jazz Institute, and other programs/festivals with world-class musicians such as Rodney Whitaker, Matt Wilson, Brandon Lee, Tim Green, John Raymond, Jeff Sipe, Michael Dease, Jim Alfredson, Dave Pietro, Rufus Reid, Dave Douglass, Monika Herzig, Ari Brown, Martin Wind, Miguel Zenon, Ben Allison, Steve Cardenas, Allison Miller, Conrad Herwig, Jim McNeely, Eric Marienthal, Wayne Bergeron, Janet Planet, Tom Washatka Brent Turney, Tim Albright, and Frank Ticheli. In September of 2017, Zach and Omnos Quintet opened the Riverfront Jazz Festival for The New Light Quartet feat. Dave Liebman. Zach has played in the Bull Falls Jazz Festival on multiple occasions with Omnos, John Greiner, and most notably, his quintet, opening for Janet Planet in 2018. He has also performed at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. Zach has sat in with the Grammy-nominated group, Sammy Miller and the Congregation, as well as the, U.S. Air Force-Shades of Blue Big Band. Returning to the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music staff in 2018, Zach was honored to be the featured trumpet soloist with the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music Choir as they performed in churches and venues across Europe.
Zach has proved to be comfortable leading new projects from creating bands to working with organizations within the community. During his tenure at UWSP, Zach was involved with many student organizations including the Trumpet Club, Composition Club, NAFME, and the Jazz Society of UWSP. The organization he was most heavily involved in was the Jazz Society. Zach was the President of the Jazz Society of UWSP for two years, and held the position of treasurer prior. This outlet allowed the student organization to host guest artists, plan events, host jam sessions, and attend professional jazz concerts in Chicago, IL and Appleton, WI. This experience at UWSP stemmed similar outcomes as Zach transitioned to Indiana University, as he is now leading the Jacobs School of Music JEN (Jazz Education Network) Student Chapter. This partnership allows students to access national and international music resources, attend the JEN annual conference at a reduced rate, and builds a network through this broad community with regards to musicians, and others within the music industry. Understanding and functioning within the business side of the music business has been a passion of Zach's for some time, and has proved to be a positive networking aspect on his musical journey.
As an educator, Zach is currently employed by the Wausau Conservatory of Music. He has taught private lessons to students of all ages, and is actively involved in schools around central Wisconsin, most notably his alma-mater, D.C. Everest, where his father remains the music director. Zach did his student teaching at Wausau West High School under Daniel Emerson, and has worked on faculty at the D.C. Everest Summer Jazz Camp where he coached combos, and co-led big band rehearsals. Zach has also given a brass section masterclass to Stevens Point Area High School students grades 6 through 12, and enjoyed being a camp counselor at the Madison Music Clinic teaching junior high and high school age students. Teaching is one of Zach’s passions, and it is both motivating and inspiring to pass on the love and knowledge of music to the next generation.