Luis Deniz

Winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Galaxie Rising Star at the Halifax Jazz Festival, Grammy Nominated and Juno Award Winning artist, Luis Gonzalez Deniz was born in Camaguey, Cuba on April 21st, 1983. In 1993, Luis started his musical studies at the Escuela Vocacional de Arte Luis Casas Romero in his hometown of Camaguey, where he subsequently continued at the Escuela Profesional de Musica Jose White.

Luis later moved to the Cuban capital, where he graduated at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Musica (ENA), the alma mater of several of Cuba’s most prominent musicians. After graduating with high honors, he was awarded 1st place on the international jazz competition JOJAZZ, held in Havana(2003) and also kept a busy schedule teaching saxophone at the National School of Music, playing locally, and touring internationally.

Luis has performed and given workshops all over Cuba, the USA, Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Luxembourg. Upon his arrival in Toronto in 2004, Deniz has performed/recorded with some of Toronto’s and the world’s most outstanding musicians including Mark Turner, Tony Allen (Fela Kuti’s Drummer), Hilario Duran, Luis Mario Ochoa, Paquito D Rivera, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Reg Schwager, Dafnis Prieto, Francisco Mela, Barry Romberg, Rich Brown’s Quartet, NOJO, Roberto Occhipinti, Canadian Idol Jazz Orchestra, The Art of Jazz Orchestra, and Jane Bunnett among others. He has also shared the stage with international figures such as Barry Harris, Howard Johnson, Ray Vega, Steve Turre, Randy Brecker, Donald Harrison, and Hermeto Pascoal. One of the highlights of Luis’s career as well is as an educator at Toronto’s most prestigious Humber College where Luis has been a faculty member for over a year as a private saxophone teacher and small and large ensemble instructor. With an impressive career as a sidemen and saxophonist, Luis keeps working on his own development. He has just been awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Grant to study with prestigious and innovative saxophonist Greg Osby in New York City. With all of his achievements thus far, Luis Deniz is irrefutably a name to keep an eye out for in the future of jazz.

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