Tim Hegarty grew up in a musical family in New Rochelle, NY where he began playing alto saxophone at age 10. After switching to tenor, by age 14 he was asked to sit in with jazz legends like Art Farmer, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, and Frank Foster who became his saxophone teacher. After soloing with the Guggenhiem Concert Orchestra at Lincoln Center in 1984, he was given the opportunity to study clarinet with Ben Armato, of the Metorpolitan Opera. He was fortunate enough to study harmony and piano with Harold Danko and James Williams as well as do some playing with the Gil Evans Orchestra during this period. He was the winner of a "Presidential Scholar Jazz Award" as a senior in high school where bassist Rufus Reid was the lead judge.
In 1986 Tim attended the University of Miami where he studied woodwinds, composition, and arranging. He returned to New York City in 1989 to attend the Manhattan School of Music and the New School. There, he was the recipient of the "Zoot Sims Award" which allowed him to perform several concerts in Spain with his quartet that included pianist Brad Mehldau. Tim received his MA from Queens College under the guidance of Jimmy Heath and Donald Byrd where he studied saxophone, composition, and arranging.
It was at this time that Tim became a member of the Gil Evans Orchestra performing Monday nights at Sweet Basil and began regular gigs with the Mingus Big Band. He was fortunate enough during this period to tour the U.S. with several different groups and was asked to perform in Japan for the first time after doing a CD that included guitarist Mike Stern. He also recorded several CDs with Lonnie Plaxico and began performing regularly with Ben E. King, Tom "Bones" Malone, and Pete Levin. He recorded his first CD as a leader in 1992 that included musicians Gil Goldstein, Mark Egan and Kenwood Dennard. In 2011 Tim orchestrated and arranged several big band charts for Ben E. King which were performed on a live radio broadcast from the "Tokyo Jazz Festival". In the summer of 2012, Tim performed several gigs as a leader while touring Japan with his wife, singer Miyuki Hegarty. He currently lives in Jersey City where he has been playing regularly with drummer Winnard Harper.