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Luis Bonilla

Luis Bonilla

  • Jazz Studies | College

Luis Bonilla is a jazz trombonist, composer, and arranger, and is a prominent force in the New York and international jazz and Latin scenes.

Bonilla has been a sideman to such musical greats as McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Astrud Gilberto, Willie Colon, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Studio sessions include a long roster of performers including Billy Childs, Gerry Mulligan, Tony Bennett, Marc Anthony, La India, Paquito d'Rivera and Mary J. Blige.

Bonilla has also released several albums of his own compositions, including Pasos Gigantes, ¡Escucha!, and Terminal Clarity, which Bonilla drew inspiration from his mentor and friend Lester Bowie. Bonilla has previously toured and recorded for many years with Bowie’s group Brass Fantasy. His 2009 release, I Talking Now!, draws inspiration from the worlds of swing, rock, free jazz, funk, movie soundtracks, avant-garde noise, and ballads.

Bonilla is currently a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Dave Douglas's latest group, Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy.

“Making lamps and ashtrays in junior high school was what I thought “Beginning Brass” was all about. You can only imagine my surprise when I had a trombone in my hands!”-Luis Bonilla


Bachelor's degree, California State University, Los Angeles. Master's degree, Jazz Performance and Composition, Manhattan School of Music. Also faculty of Temple University, and the Manhattan School of Music. Recordings on Candid.

College Jazz