Scarlett and Dr. Bob Finney Jazz Group

Biographies

Scarlett - Featured Vocalist

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Scarlett dreamed that one day she would perform in an elegant lounge in front of a shiny black Grand piano, dressed in an alluring gown singing just like her idols--Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, or Nancy Wilson.  Her family was poor and their main focus was just surviving so Scarlett's dreams were considered frivolous and unattainable.

Scarlett's dreams began to take shape once she relocated to California.  She met and married Robert Finney, Ph.D., a university professor who is also a jazz musician.  They embarked on their musical career together with his band backing Scarlett.  They made their debut appearance at the Gardenia Restaurant and Jazz Lounge in Los Angeles.  That appearance was followed by performances at the Lunaria Jazz Restaurant in Century City and morphed from there.  They have performed to capacity crowds in and around Long Beach, CA such as the Sky Room atop the Breakers Hotel, the Madison, DaVinci's, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Mexican-American Museum of Art, the Four Olives Jazz Restaurant, Los Cerritos Adobe Museum, Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum, Duke's Place at the Balboa Bay Club and a myriad of private events.  They were the featured band at Harrah's in Laughlin, Nevada for two New Year's Eve galas in a row and for a Marietta College reunion event in Marietta, Ohio.  They were voted "Best of Long Beach" in the entertainer's category for two consecutive years--2012 and 2013.

Scarlett and the Dr. Bob Finney Jazz Group have three CDs that showcase jazz and pop classics from The Great American Songbook:  "Scarlett Fever," "Lush Life, " and "The Sax Doctor."   Also, Scarlett is the featured vocalist on Dez Rubano's "At'za Jazz" CD that was recorded in Denver, Colorado. 

Dr. Bob Finney - Producer, tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, singer

During his Cranford, New Jersey high school days, Bob Finney was the tenor saxophonist in a Dixieland jazz group.  They played locally at high school events and variety shows around town.  But he wanted more.  While still a teenager, he heard that every Tuesday night at Eddie Condon's club in Greenwich Village there were open jam sessions and if you were lucky enough to get in you might play with some big name talent.  So, without his parent's permission, he hustled off to New York as many Tuesdays as he could manage.  Finally, he got his chance to play with trombonists Jack Teagarten and Miff Mole, trumpeter Red Allen, and drummer Cozy Cole.  Once, clarinetist Peanuts Huckow leaned over to Bob and said, "Hey kid.  Try this lick."  Coupled with his formal lessons, these treks to Eddie Condon's helped to make Bob's improvisations that much sweeter. 

Later in college, Bob worked as a sideman for touring big bands such as Ray Anthony, Ray McKinley, Ralph Marterie, and Woody Herman's "3rd Herd."  All of these opportunities helped to hone his skills and finance his education.  After moving to California, Bob laid his tenor saxophone down for thirty-five years until he and Scarlett began their musical journey together.  He believes his past experiences gave him a solid underpinning so picking up the ax after that long absence was like riding a bike--you just never forget!