Associate Professor, Desautels Faculty of Music
Room 240 Taché Hall
150 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Jazz area head Will Bonness 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. Within the faculty, Bonness teaches jazz theory, jazz musicianship, and jazz piano, and is also an ensemble coach.
In the faculty
At age 17, Bonness joined Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band for a year-long world tour which included performances at many famous venues. He 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, he continues to perform regularly throughout Manitoba with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Bonness has also 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.
Bonness' 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.
His most recent release, Change of Plans (2020), has garnered international critical acclaim and radio play. It was #1 on the Earshot Magazine jazz charts and appeared on several Spotify Editorial Playlists.
Bonness 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. As a leader, Bonness has three albums to his credit, including Subtle Fire (2009), Halcyon (2016), and Change of Plans (2020).
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). Bonness 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!