Will Bonness

Will joined the Desautels Faculty of Music in 2012, as Assistant professor of Jazz Piano, and teaches a variety of courses along with Major Practical Study. Will has been teaching and performing professionally for over a decade, both locally and abroad. At age 17, Will joined Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band for a year-long world tour which included performances at many famous venues. After leaving the band, Will pursued further music studies at the University of Manitoba as well as in New York and Boston with several renowned teachers, and he maintains a busy international and local performance schedule. He brings a wealth of experience to his teaching studio, including performance experience with many world-class jazz artists and private study with several renowned pianists/teachers (Fred Hersch, Charlie Banacos, Taylor Eigsti). Will emphasizes strong fundamentals in his teaching, and has developed a broad and comprehensive pedagogy system through his experiences with dozens of students through the years. He uses a variety of approaches to teaching harmony, voicings, linear concepts, sight-reading, and technique. Musicians of all abilities and goals are welcome in his studio!

B.Music in  Performance (University of Manitoba)

Will's album Subtle Fire was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year at the Western Canada Music Awards (2010). He has also appeared on several JUNO-nominated recordings.

Will has appeared in concert with many renowned artists including Jon Gordon, Jimmy Greene, and at jazz festivals throughout Canada and United States.  Along with teaching, Will continues to perform regularly throughout Manitoba with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. As well, Will has performed at many famous venues including the Blue Note  and  Smalls Jazz Club in New York City, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., and the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton.

Will frequently performs and records with musicians across Canada and the United States, appearing on several albums. Some these include Erin Propp’s Courage, My Love and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra’s The Hours, Symphony No. 3. Most recently, Will has recorded his second album, Halcyon.


Assistant Professor
Jazz Piano
Jazz Theory
Ensemble Coach
Major Practical Study and Recital 

Room 240 Taché Hall
Desautels Faculty of Music
University of Manitoba
136 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg, MB. R3T 2N2
Phone: 204-474-9430
Email: William.Bonness@umanitoba.ca