Alumn

Jon Finn

Position
Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail
Telephone
617-747-8173

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A guitarist since age six, Jon Finn has been a professional musician for most of his life.  Today, he’s been repeatedly acknowledged within the international community of musicians as being a clear leader in Modern Rock Guitar as a performer, composer and educator.  Joining the guitar faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1988, he started the Jon Finn Group later that same year. To date, they have three internationally released CDs and many concert appearance worldwide.

As a guitarist, Jon’s probably known best for his unique rock guitar style.  As an artist, he’s also interested in developing far beyond the limits imposed by any genre definition.
As a teacher, Jon is interested in getting to know his students enough to understand their strengths, weaknesses, work-ethic, and learning style.

One of his songs, Berlin Wall appears in the motion picture release Refusenik, a documentary about Soviet Jews and their struggle to escape to the US during the Cold-War era.  Jon’s guitar is also heard on the NFL Theme Song, played during the football season.   

Jon spends his spare time with his family.  Whenever possible, in a quiet cove on Lake Squam, NH.

Career Highlights
  • Performances or recordings with Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, John Petrucci, Steve Morse, Guthrie Govan, Vinnie Moore, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Demi Lovato, “RENT”, “Mamma Mia”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Hairspray” and many others
  • Recordings include Don't Look So Serious on Legato Records, and Wicked by the Jon Finn Group, and the Grammy-nominated CD The Celtic Album by the Boston Pops Orchestra (BMG Classics); also with the Boston Pops, A Splash of Pops and The Latin Album (BMG)
  • Author of Advanced Modern Rock Guitar Improvisation, Mel Bay Publications
  • Performances with, Jon Finn Group 1988  Present (Concert venues and nightclubs in new England), Boston Pops Orchestra 1996 -present (Concert venues worldwide), Boston Symphony Orchestra 2002-present (Symphony Hall Boston, MA), The Experts a 70’s classic rock tribute (local nightclubs)

    Recodings include, No Singing Allowed  by the Jon Finn Group, independent cassette release
    -Guitar on the Edge Volume 2 – Jon Finn Group (Legato records, compilation CD 1992)
    -Don’t Look So Serious – Jon Finn Group (Legato Records, full-length CD release 1994)
    -Wicked –  Jon Finn Group (SEP Records, full-length CD release 1999)
    -The Celtic Album – Boston Pops Orchestra (BMG Classics 1997)
    -A Splash of Pops - Boston Pops Orchestra (BMG Classics 1998)
    -The Latin Album – Boston Pops Orchestra (BMG Classics 1999)
    -Sleigh Ride - Boston Pops Orchestra (BMG Classics 2004)
    -America - Boston Pops Orchestra (BMG Classics 2006)
    -Bull in a China Shop - Jon Finn Group (SEP Records, full-length CD release 2010)

    Publications:
    -Guitar for the Practicing Musician – monthly column (1996-2000)
    -Advanced Modern Rock Guitar Improvisation – Mel Bay (1998)
    -One Guitar, Many Styles – Mel Bay (2003)
    -Blues/Rock Improv – Mel Bay (2004)
    -Foundations of Rock: Riffs Volume One – Mel Bay (2006)
    -Modal Rock Soloing – Truefire Media (2013)
    -Improv Target Practice – Truefire Media (2015)
    -30 Melodic Modal Licks You Must Know - Truefire Media (2018)
    -Rhythm Lab: Rock and Funk - Truefire Media (2018)

    -Clinics and seminars at:  Daddy’s Junky Music Stores, National Guitar Summer Workshops (Connecticut and Toronto), Bosse School of Music (Weymouth, MA) , MAI (Nancy, France), NAMM, Muzikmesse (Frankfurt, Germany), San Francisco University at Quito (Quito, Ecuador), ISM Guitar Training (Tokyo, Japan), Souza Lima (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Nanjing Univerity (Nanjing, China), Coda Music School, (Casablanca, Morocco), John Petrucci Guitar Universe
Awards
  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding achievements in Teaching (Berklee College of Music 1995)
  • Nomination for Outstanding Instrumentalist -Boston Music Awards (1994)
  • Performer of the Year – New England Performer Magazine (1995)
  • Emmy – Mike Adam’s Sportsworld TV show (1996)
  • Grammy Nomination – The Celtic Album, Boston Pops 1999
  • Grammy Nomination – The Latin Album, Boston Pops, 2000
Education
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
In Their Own Words

"You know the perception people have of rock guitarists—gunslingers and drug addicts. If there's one issue I get evangelical about, it's when I hear a lot of words from well-known rock players who say, 'Don't practice, be a rebel. Studying the instrument is bad for your creativity.' The mentality is that if you're too technically proficient, you're not rock 'n' roll; I'm not sure if I agree. My feeling is that it's possible to be a studied musician and maintain that primal energy—it's just not easy. I personally love players like Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Steve Morse, and Eddie Van Halen, the ones who can speak to my soul and challenge my intellect at the same time."

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