Born into a musical family, Larry has been playing the guitar since he was seven years old. In his early years he studied with legendary guitar master Jimmy Wyble, and at the age of fifteen he recorded an album with his father, guitarist Dave Koonse, entitled Dave and Larry Koonse; father and son jazz guitars. In 1984, Larry was the first recipient of a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.
Immediately after graduating from USC Larry toured extensively for six years as a member of the John Dankworth quartet, traveling all across the globe and backing up Cleo Laine. He is currently a member of Billy Child’s landmark chamber sextet which recently released its second CD titled Autumn: In Moving Pictures. He has received multiple grammy nominations for the aforementioned CD (jazz album of the year and instrumental performance); for the sextet’s first release Lyric (ensemble performance); and for two Luciana Souza releases (best vocal album for Tide and Book of Chet).
Larry has recently joined a trio formed by jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton which includes the great flautist Hubert Laws. The group plans to record their debut recording in the Fall. He has also toured with Mel Torme, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Childs, John Patitucci, David Friesen, Karrin Allyson, Luciana Souza, Natalie Cole, Bob Mintzer, Tierney Sutton, Peter Erskine, Hubert Laws, Warne Marsh and was a featured performer with the Percy Faith Orchestra on a tour of Japan.