Les Finnigan - Acoustic Guitarist/Composer - Bio

Les Finnigan - Canadian Acoustic Guitarist & Composer

Les Finnigan - Canadian Acoustic Guitarist & Composer

Les Finnigan - Canadian Acoustic Guitarist & Composer

Les Finnigan - Canadian Acoustic Guitarist & Composer

Canadian acoustic guitarist Les Finnigan specializes in composing, recording and performing new original pieces for solo acoustic guitar. His compositions combine modal and counterpoint techniques, standard and alternate tunings, and hybrid picking (fingerstyle and flatpicking), to create music that is artistic, thought provoking, and rich with melodic motifs.

Les Finnigan has independently released 8 CDs and 2 DVDs and has sold over 15,000 copies to fans all over the world. He is regularly heard across Canada on several CBC Radio programs. His music has also been used in films, documentaries and television commercials. He is a tireless entertainer and performs over 325 days a year at venues ranging from coffee shops and restaurants to concert halls and outdoor festivals. He is also the producer of the West Coast Guitar Night, which has been a popular annual concert in Vancouver since 1999.

Three of his albums have been nominated for awards: 2 Western Canadian Music Award nominations (Instrumental Album of the Year - 2014 and Outstanding Instrumental Recording - 2003), and a 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Best Instrumentalist - Solo. He was also a finalist in the 2016 International Acoustic Music Awards for his composition 'Double Crush'. Before Finnigan started his recording career he was the winner of the National Guitar Summer Workshop's Guitar Competition in 1996 and also the Vancouver Unplugged Guitar Competition in 1996.

He studied at Douglas Academy of Music with David Lund, at the Institute of Communication Arts, and has attended workshops with Leo Kottke, Alex DeGrassi, Pierre Bensusan, Adrian Legg, Martin Simpson, Preston Reed, Ed Gerhard, Seth Austen, Don Ross, Tommy Emmanuel & Kent Hillman. He started playing electric guitar in 1980 and made the permanent switch to acoustic in 1995. He has extensively studied classical counterpoint and jazz harmony, and also played the acoustic drum kit for about 10 years. These individual studies of melody, harmony, and rhythm, combined with his artistic sense of structure and balance, have made him the composer he is today.

"Les Finnigan has been described as a guitar wizard and he gives ample evidence of why - his original instrumentals, employing alternative tunings, are consistently fascinating, and his playing combines leads, complex accompaniment and an unerring beat in such a way that the word soloist seems all wrong."
- Alex Browne, The Peace Arch News

"Once released from the constraints of standard guitar tuning a player with good ears and hands can make amazing music, something Vancouver guitarist Les Finnigan has clearly figured out. His fingers don't just play, they dance."
- John P. McLaughlin, The Province

"Finnigan's use of the tonal palette of his 6-string creates aural images that are at the same time warm and inviting, and dark and complex."
- Kirk Albrecht, Minor 7th

"Finnigan stands revealed as a gifted stylist and perhaps an even more talented composer."
- Alexander Varty, The Georgia Straight

"Finnigan's music is at times soothing, uplifting, exciting and melancholy."
- Corry Anderson-Fennel, The Now

"Finnigan creates lovely melodies, never trying to prove anything by his playing, but allowing his songs to sink into the soul." - Kirk Albrecht, Minor 7th

"Finnigan specializes in pretty guitar tunes that could tame such savage beasts."
- Steve Newton, The Georgia Straight

"One jaw-droppingly fine acoustic guitar player…"
-John P. McLaughlin, The Province

"...world-class talent and tone."
-Marty Peters, Recording magazine

Acoustic Guitar Albums by Les Finnigan:

Out in the Wild (2016)*
The Brave Dog (2013)**
Live at the West Coast Guitar Night - DVD (2011)
The Fiery Cart (2009)
Things My Guitar Said - 10th Anniversary Edition (2007)***
String-O-Vision - Live in Concert - DVD (2005)
All Over the Map (2005)
Steel String Portraits (2002)****
Live at the Cultch (2000)
Stories Without Words (1999)

* 2016 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist
  for the composition 'Double Crush'

** 2014 Western Canadian Music Award Nomination
    Instrumental Album of the Year

*** 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination
      Best Instrumentalist - Solo

**** 2003 Western Canadian Music Award Nomination
        Outstanding Instrumental Recording