Short Biography

Zachary Finnegan

"Zach is one of those rare special [musicians] 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 UWSP, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Broadway in Chicago, Maynard Ferguson and Aretha Franklin Horn Section

Zach has appeared on six albums. He has played with an impressive array of musicians including Rob Dixon, Carrington Clinton, Brent Turney, and Jeremy Allen. Zach began two bands entitled, “Crossroads Quintet,” and, “Omnos Quartet.” These groups released one album respectively. He is also a sideman in the popular hip-hop/jazz-fusion band, “Clint Breeze and the Groove,” based in Indianapolis.

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As a performer, Zach’s groups have played multiple festivals, most notably opening for Dave Liebman at the Riverfront Jazz Festival in 2017. He has also headlined the Bull Falls Jazz Festival, and the Taste of Bloomington Festival. Other festivals he has performed at are CHREECE Hip-Hop Festival, B’town Jazz Fest, and the Feast of Lanterns Festival. Zach has traveled as a solo guest artist with the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music Tour featured with the choir and wind ensemble in various venues across seven European countries.

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Zach’s commitment to music goes far beyond his skills as a trumpeter and bandleader. An accredited educator, he strives to continuously develop a deep connection between music and people. He is passionate about building relationships, and chooses music to be his medium to do so. Zach is also passionate about music business, and can be seen in his work with the B’town Jazz Organization, IU Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development Internship, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Jazz Internship and numerous projects he has led.

Long Biography

Zachary Finnegan was raised in Weston, Wisconsin and is currently residing in Chicago, IL. Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in his playing due to his upbringing in the church. Zach sees himself as a lifelong learner in all facets of life, including his music. His curiosity pushes him to continue to develop as an artist each day. 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 life to this day.  

Zach received a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from Indiana University under the guidance of John Raymond and Joey Tartell. He received his Bachelors in Music Education and Jazz Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point under the guidance of Mathew Buchman, Brent Turney and Patrick Lawrence. Zach has enjoyed a varied musical journey with work in performing, composing, education, recording, and entrepreneurship. Zach has played professionally with John Raymond, Carrington Clinton, Rob Dixon, Vince Mendoza, Thomas Walsh, Pat Harbison, Brent Turney, Jeremy Allen, Joe Galvin, Joel Tucker, Ryan Korb, Nick Tucker, John Greiner, and Tim Albright. Through his collegiate 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 is a founding member of Omnos Quartet, The Crossroads Quintet, and part of the Indianapolis-based hip-hop/jazz-fusion band, Clint Breeze and the Groove.

As a performer, Zach’s groups have played multiple festivals, most notably opening for Dave Liebman and the New Light Quartet at the Riverfront Jazz Festival in 2017. Additionally, “The Zachary Finnegan Quintet,” has also opened for Janet Planet at the Bull Falls Jazz Festival in 2018, and opened for the Jeremy Allen Trio at Taste of Bloomington in 2019. Zach began a group in Bloomington, IN entitled, “Crossroads Quintet.” Their debut EP release occurred at the 2019 B'town Jazz Festival, and debut album, Intertwined, released May of 2020 on the Midwest Crush Music Label. Zach’s first group, “Omnos Quartet,” recorded their debut album at Daly’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in December 2018. Additionally, Zach has traveled as a solo guest artist with the 2018 Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music Tour to seven European countries, featured with the choir and wind ensemble in various 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 was the manager of the groups Omnos Quartet, and Crossroads Quintet, as well as currently assisting Travis Lee, Clint Breeze and the Groove and his own freelance career in Chicago. Understanding and functioning within the business side of music has been a passion of Zach's for some time, and has proved to be a positive aspect on his musical journey.

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 began leading the Jacobs School of Music Jazz Education Network Student Chapter. This partnership allowed students to access national and international music resources. Simultaneously, Zach was appointed as one of four interns for the Project Jumpstart team through the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development at Indiana University. This office allowed him to promote and collaborate on fellow student's creative projects, host events with guest artists, build a positive and uplifting environment for fellow students, and put him in a position to lift up the arts community of Bloomington, IN.  These academic organizations stemmed into Zach being proactive in the communities he has been a part of. In 2019, Zach became the newest member of the B’town Jazz Organization’s board of directors as the social media director, and co-coordinator for the 2019 B'town Jazz Festival. Similarly, he held a position with the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra as the Jazz Intern where he worked with the local Boys and Girls Club, and curated a jazz listening session at a local art gallery.

Zach has previously been on staff at the Wausau Conservatory of Music as the Trumpet Artist. He taught private lessons and camps, as well as masterclasses to any and all ages. Education plays a huge role in Zach's life. He has worked at multiple jazz institutes across the country including the Skidmore Jazz Institute, Brevard Jazz Institute, and the Madison Summer Music Clinic. Currently, he has a private trumpet studio and is on staff at Fusion Academy in Oak Brook, IL as the acting Music Director. He looks continuously for outlets to spread the knowledge of music to younger students, and create a healthy environment for learning and creativity.