Sherry Finzer Artist Interview
Sherry Finzer is a classically-trained flutist who has found her calling in the New Age/Ambient/Meditation world. As a regular live-streaming musician on the Insight Timer Meditation App for almost two years, her music is used by people around the world to relieve stress, meditation, and as an aid in mental and physical healing. With over 30 solo and collaborative album releases in just 11 years, Sherry's music can be heard on all streaming platforms including Spotify and Pandora, the SiriusXM Spa Channel (68), NPR, US and international airlines, PBS, and many overhead music channels.
5 Career Highlights
In my classical years, it was an honor to perform many times at the NFA conventions in many different formats. I loved playing for many years in the Professional Flute Choir, as a New Published Music and Showcase performer, and with local Arizona flute choirs.
Getting to travel and perform is always so much fun for me. My most memorable performances would include those on my 2015 Australian tour with New Age pianist Fiona Joy. It was great to spend two weeks touring the beautiful countryside and cities there. It was also great to visit with Peter Sheridan!
Being able to build a record label is something I would have never imagined when I started out on my quest to record music as an aid in healing. Over 7 years I have had the pleasure to release music for over 75+ artists on my label Heart Dance Records, and help them earn royalties and revenue for their music. I have also built the Higher Level Media promotions company, and am very proud to have a team of people helping to present music for the most prestigious artists, GRAMMY winners/nominees in our genre.
Releasing 35 albums and dozens of singles over the last 14 years.
I have had the honor of performing for numerous fundraisers over the last decade. It always feel so good to help raise funds for those in need, especially children.
3 Pivotal Moments
Back in 2006, I had recorded my first solo album that was comprised of compositions by Christopher Caliendo and a new age/jazz composer named Ric Flauding. At that time I was also teaching group exercise classes at the YMCA and held a fundraiser for them, performing with my flute, guitar, and percussion trio. A woman who suffered from an illness and purchased my Desert Journey CD at the concert came into my class one day very excited to tell me that when she played my CD, her hands would stop shaking and she was able to write and put on her makeup. It was at that moment that I wanted to explore the healing power of music and changed the direction that I was headed in as a musician.
The process of moving from a classical performing musician to creating and composing my own music was a huge step. One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome was learning not to play so many notes, allow the music to breathe, and let the space have its own voice. The space is equally as important as the notes and phrases, if not more.
Another difficult hurdle was learning to play by ear. I was in the studio recording a cover tune one day and my engineer, John Herrera, told me I need to just learn the tune, get rid of the sheet music, and play from the heart. This was probably the most pivotal moment in my career, as it also led me to be able to improv, which has afforded me opportunities to jump up on stage with soloists to full bands and be able to jam with them. This has also opened doors for me to collaborate with a plethora of artists on recordings, which has led to more touring.
What do you like best about performing?
Who doesn't love performing in a large concert hall or venue? Those are great. But I also love performing for smaller events or house concerts. Those performances allow me to share stories and get to know those in attendance, oftentimes creating lifelong friendships and connections. Performing has also given me many opportunities to travel and see many parts of the world I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise!
Sanctuary - 2009
Sanctuary II: Earth - 2011
Sanctuary III: Beyond the Dream - 2014 #1 on Echoes/Echoes CD of the Month, Nominated Zone Music Reporter Best Acoustic Album 2014
Transformation with guitarist Darin Mahoney - One World Music Album of the Year 2013
Flute Flight with Native American Flutist Mark Holland - Zone Music Reporter Best Meditation/Relaxation Album 2015
Trialogue with Darin Mahoney and pan-global percussionist Will Clipman -Zone Music Reporter Best Acoustic Album 2016
Let There Be Light with Tom Moore - Zone Music Reporter Best Relaxation/Meditation Album 2017
Traveler with Peter Sheridan - 2017
Auriga to Orion with Majestica (Cass Anawaty) Zone Music Reporter Best Chill Groove Album 2018.
In the Midst of Stars - Majestica nominated Best Contemporary Instrumental Album by the RoundGlass Music Awards 2016
Whispers from Silence with Tom Moore, nominated Best Relaxation Meditation Album 2016
Somewhere New with Mark Holland 2018
Acceptance - 2018
Remembrances with Greg Maroney - 2019
Sound Currents with Tom Moore - 2019 Winner Zone Music Reporter Best Relaxation/Meditation Album 2019
A Journey for Mankind with Tom Moore - 2019 Winner Zone Music Reporter Best Ambient Album 2019
The Space Between Breaths with Will Clipman - 2019 Nominated Zone Music Reporter Best World Album 2019
Christmas Picante with VeeRonna Ragone - remastered -2019
Indigo Skies – Evenfall - 2020
Transcendence – Flute Meditations from The Tank - 2020 Nominated Best Solo Flute Album 2020 One World Music Radio
Strength & Serenity with Greg Maroney - 2020 Nominated Best Piano w/Instrumentation Album 2020 One World Music Radio
Behind the Door with Lynn Tredeau (single) - 2020
Earthbeat, Eventide with Joseph Akins (singles) - 2020
Full Moon Meditations - 2020
Soul Español with Chris B. Jácome - 2020
Monsoon Winds - Evenfall - 2020
Renewal - "Naked Flute" series - 2021
Spire with Majestica - May 2021
Solace with City of Dawn -2021
Desert Suite with pianist Greg Maroney 2021
Connections - 2022
Centered with Karasvana - 2022
Ubiquity - 2022
Moonwheel with City of Dawn - July 2022
Synesthesia - October 2022
Coming in 2023- Earthbeat with pianist Joseph Akins, 5 solo flute EP's, The Gratitude Project, and an album with pianist Michael Martinez
Schedule for next 6 months
I will continue to Livestream weekly on the Insight Timer Meditation App. You can find me there typically on Wednesday evenings.
I have several new recordings releasing this year - in honor of my birthday this summer, I will be releasing an EP for each decade and dropping the full album this August. To go along with these recordings, you will find me sharing stories about meaningful moments and turning points in my life on social media, while I work on writing a book about my journey.
You will find me this August at the NFA Convention performing with a few groups and sharing stories to encourage and inspire people that it is never too late to find success in music.
My biggest project for 2023 will be ReJAMinate - an all-inclusive music-based health and wellness retreat near Cancun, MX. Seven artists from my label, Heart Dance Records, will provide live music events throughout each day including sound healing, yoga on the beach, relaxing poolside melodies, evening rooftop concerts and much more. ReJAMinate will be held at The Fives Oceanfront Resort in Puerto Morelos. For more information visit rejaminatefest.com.
My main mission is always to help the world heal through music. There are many ways to do this and much ground to cover. I set an intention each day to help just one more person with my music.
As a musician today you need to also understand the music business. It was extremely difficult to get started and find people who would give me a chance in this male-dominated industry. Working with honesty and integrity, I have been blessed to have had many doors open for me. I seek to continue to grow Heart Dance Records, and make it one of the premier record labels in the area of wellness music.
I love specializing in low flutes, as well as Native-American style flutes, and am always looking for new additions to my collection. One instrument that I have yet to tackle is the EWI (electronic wind instrument). It is on my goal list for this year so wish me luck!
The ever changing world of technology can be a challenge sometimes, as well as trying to "do it all". As a musician, there is so much more we need to do to be successful beyond just recording great music. Being present on social media can be a struggle as we always need to be providing relevant and interesting content, plus keeping up with the business end, booking gigs, accounting and making sure you are getting paid all of your royalties that are due to you. I have found that building a team to help me has helped to alleviate a lot of stress and has freed up time that I would have spent trying to "figure it out".
A lot of my inspiration these days is nature. I live in the high Sonoran desert of Arizona and love to go off-roading in my Jeep Rubicon. I love the peacefulness and the solitude, and it is a great place to sit and play Native American-style flutes. I always draw much energy and clarity from the ocean and love traveling to the beautiful beaches in Mexico.
I have had many mentors throughout my life, including my band director Howard Rowe and private flute teacher Glennda Dove-Pelitto. Glennda studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal and taught in his style. I remember getting to meet him one day when I was in high school after a concert at the Eastman Theater in Rochester, NY - that was such a thrill. I listened to his recordings non-stop.
I am still a fan of the disco music era and love Earth Wind and Fire. I love hiking and off-roading in my Jeep when I can get away, and reading a good mystery novel. Most of all I love spending time with my two grandsons, as tiring as that is!
When you want to know or learn how to do something - seek out those that are doing it and ask for advice. You would be surprised how many people may want to help you and save you time from making mistakes that they made along the way. And if possible, build a team to help take you to the next level.
Never Give Up - as my grandmother used to tell me. Pleasant persistence and perseverance can go a long way. If you are determined, you will find a way to accomplish your goals.
Pave Your Own Path - sometimes achieving your goals is not the same for you as everyone else. The path that I created has surely been my own. Be creative and be your authentic self!