|FireFly Studios' Stronghold 2 (2005)||(A very special thank you to (for the wonderful and authentic musical performances and contributions))|
|FireFly Studios' Stronghold Deluxe (2002)||(Voice Actors)|
|FireFly Studios' Stronghold (2001)||(Mandolin)|
|Stronghold Legends (2006)||(A very special thanks to)|
|Space Colony (2003)||(Special Thanks)|
For the past 15 years guitarist/composer Matthew Finck has established himself as one of the most versatile and respected guitarists on the New York scene. With a full gamut of experience in so many facets over those years, he has finally launched his own group (in partnership with saxophonist Jonathan Ball) with the Matthew Finck Jonathan Ball Project. Their first CD, It’s Not That Far, was released in July of 2013.
But the remarkable guitarist’s journey began virtually at birth, as music has always been an intrinsic part of his life. His father Ron Finck was a prominent saxophonist and teacher who worked steadily in jazz ensembles, Broadway pit bands and – after touring extensively with Sammy Davis, Jr. - with top name entertainers in the Borscht Belt and all over the U.S. Matthew was regularly surrounded by musicians and performers of all genres – his “second family” as he calls it. Among those were jazz artists Roswell Rudd, Anthony Braxton, Frankie Dunlop and Ed Summerlin, composer Meyer Kupferman, choreographers/dancers Maurice Hines and Mercedes Ellington, and popular entertainers Milton Berle, Jackie Mason and Davis. Matthew’s early influences were B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen, and by the time he was in high school, Matthew was sitting in regularly alongside his father and Rudd in the Granit Band, a fixture on the Hudson Valley scene. In 1990, as a freshman at SUNY Purchase, some classic Wes Montgomery and George Benson albums had a powerful effect upon the young guitarist and a new focus locked in. Transferring to Long Island University, he graduated cum laude in 1997 and soon afterward became a fulltime member of the New York scene.
While continuing his studies privately with outstanding teachers like Eddie Diehl, Jack Wilkins, Gene Bertoncini, Rodney Jones, Bruce Barth, David Berkman and Mike Longo, Matthew also recorded with John Medeski and Heather Masse and performed with artists like Steve Wilson, Dennis Mackrel, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, Jay Anderson, Pete Yellin and Roswell Rudd. Working on and off with Rudd over more than 12 years, he has performed at U.S. and European Festivals and on two of the great trombonist’s albums.
But of all these experiences, the most profoundly influential was his five years as a regular on the Harlem scene, particularly in the classic organ combo tradition that has played such a prominent role in Harlem’s – and jazz’s – history. “Everybody came dressed to the nines - sharp suits, shoes, hats, etc. It was a night out and it was all about feeling good, celebrating. You didn’t have to know the people you were playing for but by the end of the night you were family! For me, this was the reason to play. When people you don’t know come up to you and give you a hug and a kiss after you play because you moved them, this is the best feeling in the world!” Matthew has always kept the essence of that experience front and center in all of his artistic and educational endeavors.
In addition to performing, education has always been an important element of Matthew’s overall vision and imperative. He is widely recognized as a motivated teacher who uses creativity and innovation to impart to the student the importance of self-discovery in an environment that allows learning to be fun and inspiring. He’s taught formally from day school to university levels, and currently teaches at College of Saint Rose in Albany as guitar instructor and ensemble director, teaching improvisation on all instruments. Privately he’s had great success, with two students winning the coveted NYSSMA guitar chair; another student twice selected to the Grammy band; a Young Arts selectee; and a Brubeck band selection at College of the Pacific. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Music at SUNY Purchase and is Founder/Chairperson of The Ron Finck Memorial Scholarship Fund at Rondout Valley High School.
Matthew’s versatility has taken him to other areas of musical expression as well. He’s performed with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic with Ronan Tynan, Nell Carter, Tony Martin, and Chris Barron (of the Spindoctors). He freelances in a variety of settings including blues, rock and funk and has led his own funk band - Fat Mink - since 2005. Matthew has also composed and performed music for video games since 2001.
As full as his schedule is, the Matthew Finck Jonathan Ball Project is his primary musical focus these days. With a stellar lineup on their new album - including Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum and Jay Anderson – It’s Not That Far marks just the beginning of what promises to be a remarkable journey. Currently performing in the Northeast, a tour is in the planning stage and the second CD will be recorded soon, adding a Hammond B3 to the mix.
Last updated: Oct 07, 2014