Born: January 28, 1955 Primary Instrument: Piano
Andrew has been a professional piano player on the Toronto jazz scene since 1980. A frequent participant in the Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival he has also appeared at the Distillery Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Guelph Jazz Festival and the Barrie Jazz Festival. Andrew has performed with the Juno award-winning contemporary jazz orchestra NOJO, and plays with many of Toronto's finest jazz musicians including Richard Underhill (JUNO winner 2003), Mike Murley (multiple JUNO winner), Kevin Turcotte, Michael Occhipinti (NOJO), Barry Romberg and Quinsin Nachoff (now based in NYC).
Andrew newest project is his quintet, Andrew Boniwell and The Uncertainty Principle. His first CD with this unit, Boomerang was released in 2011. It features finely crafted and groovy compositions with a varied rhythmic palette and a front line of Richard Underhill (alto sax) and Kevin Turcotte (trumpet).
Andrew’s previous CD, StopStart also on Soundcolour Records (1999), features The Andrew Boniwell Quartet playing his compositions. Reviewers found the quartet’s exploration of texture, dynamics and harmony innovative (Ottawa Citizen) and adventurous (Toronto Star) while the quartet's playing was described as letting the music flow out of their veins (Coda Magazine).
Awards:Oscar Peterson Burary Award, York University 1986
I enjoyed this CD — I have to admit that very often when I see a release with all original compositions I approach it with some trepidation, but there is no uncertainty with this recording. The compositions are inventive and the musicians all bring a cohesive and creative energy to the music. I hope that the leader/composer doesn’t mind if I say that some of the pieces bring to mind the work of Horace Silver; it is certainly meant as a compliment.
The musicians who lend their talents to the music of Mr. Bonniwell are bassist Mark Cashion, drummer Mike McClelland, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and Richard Underhill on alto sax.
This recording is yet another good example of the fine talents right here on our own doorstep.
Here is what Larry Rossignol, artistic director of the Distillery Jazz Festival said about the Andrew Boniwell Quartet after an appearance at the DJF.
Andrew Boniwell is one of the rare acts that has true jazz cred...top players, clever arrangements, a mix of excellent original tunes and thoughtful covers...that produces a rollicking and melodic performance that will please both the true jazz aficionado and those who do not identify as jazz savvy.
StopStart (Soundcolour Records, 1999)
Boomerang (Soundcolour Records, 2011)
Tracks: Boomerang; Lake Country; Photographer's Eye; Exhibit M; Dr. M.D.; Quarky Disposition; Black Saturday; Albert's Time; Walk The Max Planck; Hi Hi Heisenberg; Blues at 50.
Personnel: Andrew Boniwell: piano and electric piano; Richard Underhill: alto saxophone; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet and flugel horn; Mark Cashion: bass; Mike McClelland: drums.
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Willing to teach:
Andrew Boniwell has developed a personal approach to piano pedagogy that is a fusion of his own music training, BFA in music, B.Ed., Orff Level 2, and his professional experience. For 35 years he has both been teaching piano and performing as a jazz pianist. Piano playing and more generally music making are about art as well as a craft. He balances instruction in the basics, technique, sight-reading, theory and rhythm with learning and playing music that taps into a student's creativity and expressiveness - a holistic approach that seeks to balance art and craft. Andrew’s intention is to develop and nurture a life long passion for piano playing by encouraging the student to take ownership of their own musical ability and expression.