A native of Livermore, California, Matt Finders began studying music at the age of 12, choosing the trombone because his brother, also a budding musician, already owned one. In high school he began playing jazz and went on to continue his musical studies at San Jose State University. While still in college, Finders played with Clark Terry's big band, where he first met and played with former "Tonight Show" band leader Branford Marsalis. In 1983, he began playing in the orchestras for a number of successful Broadway musicals, including "Cats," "42nd Street," "City of Angels," "Secret Gardens" and "Starlight Express." Finders has also played with such notable jazz artists as Harry Connick, Mel Lewis, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Natalie Cole, Buck Clayton, Benny Goodman, Marian McPartland and Grover Mitchell. He counts Miles Davis, Frank Rosolino and Chet Baker among the major influences on his playing, which also includes the bass trombone and the tuba.