Pianist/Composer– Fintan O’Neill’s musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his native Ireland (his mother, for example, sang operatic songs and played piano). After years of classical piano lessons (and a few years of tenor saxophone instruction) Fintan spent his college years playing in rock groups and found himself increasingly drawn to jazz.
The young pianist plunged full time into jazz studies and performance, and by 1987 he was a prize winner in the Jazz Piano category in the Dublin Music Festival Competition (Feis Ceoil). In1988, He began playing with the top Irish Jazz musicians in Dublin and was featured in the Tommy Halferty Trio at the Cork Jazz Festival.
Late in 1989, Fintan moved to New York City and began studies with several top New York pianists including Kenny Werner, James Williams and Larry willis. Shortly after that, Fintan began playing on the New York scene with many top players, including James Spaulding, Regina Carter, Steve Wilson, Lewis Nash, Peter Washington, Larry Coryell, Art Baron, Don Sickler, Brian Lynch, Javon Jackson, Abraham Burton, Theodross Avery, Dwayne Broadnax, Essiet Essiet, Dennis Irwin, Bob Cranshaw, Billy Pierce, Tony Reedus, Jeremy Pelt, Bill Mobley, Billy Drummond, Steve Kroon, Allen Harris, John Ellis,
Al Harewood, David O’Rourke, Don Pate, Jed Levy, Mark Johnson, Dennis Mitcheltree, BIlly Johnson, Luis Bonilla, Valery Ponomarev, Eric McPhearson, Eddie Allen, Jeff Lederer, Rene Hart, Jim Robertson, Kevin Fitzgerald Burke, Sachal Vasandani, Bruce Cox, Dwayne ” Cook” Broadnax, Mauricio Zottarelli, Stafford Hunter, Evan Gregor, Emma Dayhuff, Jon Irabagon, Peter Brendler, Rob Duguay, Kuriko Tsugawa, Daisuke Abe, Dave Mason, Simona Rodano, Hugh Buckley, Derek “DOC” O’Connor, Ronan Guilfoyle, Tommy Halferty, Richie Buckley, Paul Dunlea, Anto Drennan, Mick Coady, Linley Hamilton, Conor Guilfoyle, Honor Heffernan, Christine Tobin, Phil Robson et al.
Fintan’s debut album as a leader “In The Moment “on Amosaya records (AM-2530-CD) has received much critical acclaim from Jazz journalists, radio stations and the public alike.The album features three Jazz Messengers, BIlly Pierce, Brian Lynch,and Essiet Essiet with Mark Johnson and produced by James Williams.
Fintan’s arrangements have been featured at a number of concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital room. For some years Fintan was the featured pianist with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra under the direction of David O’Rourke and the Nelson Riddle family. Fintan has been commissioned to compose and arrange by the Arts Council of Ireland for the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra.
For several years Fintan has led the Blue Note Sessions jam sessions at the Guinness Cork Jazz festival as MC and pianist.
Fintan may be heard on a number of fine recordings including:
As a leader.
“In The Moment” – The Fintan O’Neill Quintet (Amosaya records AM-2530) available on Amazon.com