Winner of the 2006 Jazz General Motors Grand Prix from the Montreal Jazz Festival (David Virelles Quintet) and the 2010 Galaxie Rising Star from the Halifax Jazz Festival (Rich Brown & Rinsethealgorithm), Grammy nominated and winner of the Juno Award (Canada, Hilario Duran Latin Jazz Big Band), Luis Gonzalez Deniz was born in Camagüey, Cuba on April 21st 1983. In 1993, he began his music studies at the Art School "Luis Casas Romero", in his hometown of Camagüey, where later on he continued at the Professional Music School "José White". He then moved to Havana, where he graduated with honors from the prestigious National Music School, the alma mater of several distinguished musicians from Cuba.
After graduating, he participates and obtains the 1st place in the international jazz competition, Jojazz, that took place in Havana (2003), while maintaining a very busy work schedule, teaching saxophone at National Music School and playing local and internationally. Luis has performed, and taught workshops, in countries like Cuba, Australia, Japan, United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermudas, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, Scotland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Since his arrival at Toronto, in 2004, he has shared stage/recorded with some of the most outstanding musicians from said city and from the international jazz scene, including artists like Mark Turner, Tony Allen, Hilario Durán, Luis Mario Ochoa, Paquito D’Rivera, Horario ‘El Negro’ Hernández, Reg Schwager, Dafnis Prieto, Francisco Mela, Barry Romberg, Darren Sigesmund, Cubanismo, Rich Brown's Rinsethealgorithm and Rich Brown & The Abeng, Mark Kelso & the Jazz Exiles, NOJO, Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra, Roberto Occhipinti, Canadian Idol Jazz Orchestra, The Art of Jazz Orchestra, Jane Bunnett, Kune- Canada’s Global Orchestra, Barry Harris, Howard Johnson, Ray Vega, Steve Turre, Randy Brecker, Donald Harrison, Ingrid Jensen, Mark Feldman, Gary Versace and Hermeto Pascoal.
One of the most distinguished aspects of Luis’s career is also as an educator, being part of Toronto’s prestigious Humber College, where he has been a faculty member for more than five years, as a private saxophone professor. With a great career both as a saxophonist and educator, Luis keeps working on his personal development. In 2010 he was awarded with a grant given by Canada’s Art Council, to study with the saxophonist Greg Osby, in New York city. With all these accomplishments, Luis Deniz is definitely a name to look out for in the future of jazz.
Luis Gonzalez Deniz plays exclusively with Yamaha Saxophones, BG France Accessories and Gonzalez Reeds.