Edwin Bonilla Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and raised in Elizabeth, NJ Bonilla commenced playing at a very early age. By the age of 14, he was already playing with some of the best local bands in New Jersey. As a percussionist, Bonilla is familiar with rhythmic patterns the world over, as his professional experiences include performances and recordings in jazz, rock, soca, pop, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Indian, and Brazilian music. During the last 17 years, Bonilla has participated in more than 1000 recordings, has been involved in continuous studio and performing work, including videos, movie scores and jingles and has been at the forefront of several developments in the music industry, as well as part of some of the most important figures and groups.
On July 8, 1999, his first solo release “Edwin y su Son” was unleashed, followed by “Soy la candela” on March 14, 2002. Both recordings achieved high volume of sales and the international support of audiences, radio and dancing club programmers, as well as critics. His third recording, “Pa’ la calle” released in March 15, 2004, has also been highly acclaimed the world over. Edwin Bonilla y Su Orquesta has performed live in the “Fiesta Salsa y Toro” in France, San Francisco, Seattle Washington, Toronto Canada, New York City in S.O.B’s, and in The Miami International Salsa Congress. He has also recorded live performances in TLC’s show “Fak’n It” and was the Orquestra chosen to appear and showcase their original music at the Paramount Pictures New Series “South Beach” produced by Jennifer Lopez, staring Vanessa Williams and Steven Baur. Bonilla’s music has also been featured in instructional dance videos by The Salsa Lovers School for Dancers, founded by Rene Geitz. Edwin y Su Orquesta has also had the pleasure of performing live with Cuban Pete & Barbara Craddock (the legendary New York City’s Palladium’s Mambo Dancers.)
Of the aforementioned 1000+ recording projects, the following is just a sampling of some of the most important: Gloria Estefan-Grammy Winner, Azúcar Moreno, Madonna, No Mercy, Dave Grusin, Eric Byrne, ‘N Sync, Hansel y Raul, Julio Iglesias, Tito Puente Jr., Jose Feliciano, Roberto Torres, Tony Bennett, Monguito el Unico, Stevie Wonder, La Charanga Casino, Patti Labelle, Wilfrido Vargas, Celine Dion, Shalim Ortiz, Bellamy Brothers, Thalia, Lenny Kravitz, Shakira, Quincy Jones’-Jook Joint-Grammy Winner, Barrio Boys, Frank Sinatra-Duets II-Grammy Winner, Jose Luis Rodriguez “El Puma”, John Secada’s – “Amor”-Grammy Winner, Franco de Vita, Arturo Sandoval-Hot House-Grammy Winner, Carlos Ponce, Roberto Blades-Encore-Grammy Winner, Manhattan Transfer, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Jimmy Smith, Gypsy Kings, Marc Anthony, Jerry Rivera, Alejandro Fernandez, Alexandre Pires, Juan Luis Guerra, Paulina Rubio, Ricky Martin, Lucero, Los Ilegales, Jennifer Lopez, Nestor Torres-This Side of Paradise-Grammy Winner, Maru, Sopa pa contrario, Chayanne, Alejandra Bassi, Raul DeBlasio, Viva Nativa, Hansel Martinez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Donna Summers, and the legendary James Brown.
TV appearances, mostly with Gloria Estefan, include: World Music Awards, Arsenio Hall, American Music Awards, White House Christmas Special, Grammy Awards (New York, 1994), Vatican Concert for the Pope, Super Bowl-’95-Patti Labelle, ’99-Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder, Acapulco “93”, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox Club House, David Letterman. Top of the Pop’s London VH1 Honors, Live by Request, Oprah Winfrey, Americanos PBS Special, Rosie O’Donnell, The View, Today Show, Hispanic Heritage Awards ’99 – present, Regis And Kathy Lee, Donny and Marie Show, Caribbean Soul Special or “alma Caribeña” with Gloria Estefan from The Bahamas and the Millennium Concert, “Unwrapped”- Gloria Estefan in Cesar’s Palace Las Vegas, and American Idol, as well as various shows throughout Europe, South America and Japan.
Bonilla has recorded in the following movie soundtracks: Anastasia -Walt Disney, Mark of Zorro, The Specialist, Make Me Dance, Something about Mary (also appeared in the movie), Evita, The Perez Family, Steal Big Steal Little, Music of my heart, Money Train, and in the Grammy awarded production of Sesame Street 25th Anniversary Elmopalooza (also appeared in video), Empire, and Chasing Papi.
Aside from his own band, the following list reflects the nature and scope of some of the groups and artist, Bonilla has performed or currently performs with: Gloria Estefan, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, The Florida Philharmonic,, Stevie Wonder, Ed Calle, Hansel Martinez, Miami Sound Machine and Arturo Sandoval to name a few.