Recently named Jazz Artist of the Year at the Western Canada Music Awards, Will Bonness was called “one of finest jazz pianist of his generation” by Monk Competition winner Jon Gordon. Will has been active on the international jazz scene for two decades. At 17, Will joined Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band for a world tour, which included performances in Europe, Thailand, and the Caribbean. He has performed at many of the major jazz festivals in Canada and the United States, as well as in the world’s most prestigious venues, with such luminaries as Jon Gordon, Avishai Cohen, Quincy Davis, Jimmy Greene, and Derrick Gardner. Locally, he can often be seen performing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra.
Will’s performance career has led him to spend substantial time in New York City, where he has played at the Blue Note, Smalls, and Dizzy’s. Aside from his performances, he maintains a full-time teaching position at the University of Manitoba, where he has taught music for the past 9 years.
Will has three releases to his credit: Subtle Fire (2009), Halcyon (2016), and Change of Plans (2020). He has appeared as an accompanist on almost 30 albums, many of which have been nominated for or won JUNO and Western Canada Music Awards. Change of Plans has received international critical acclaim, and nearly a million streams on Spotify.