Winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2006 at the Montreal Jazz Festival (David Virelles Quintet) and Galaxie Rising Star 2010 at the Halifax Jazz Festival (Rich Brown & Rinsethealgorithm), Grammy Nominated and Juno Award Wining artist (Hilario Duran Latin Jazz Big Band),
Alto saxophonist 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 before continuing at the Escuela Profesional de Musica Jose White. Luis then moved to Havana, Cuba, 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 first place at the international jazz competition JOJAZZ held in Havana (2003). He maintained a busy schedule teaching saxophone at the National School of Music while also performing locally and touring internationally. Luis has performed and taught workshops throughout Cuba, Australia, Japan, USA, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, Scotland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Following his arrival in Toronto in 2004, Luis has performed or recorded with numerous Toronto-based and international musicians. He has played saxophone for Mark Turner, Tony Allen (Fela Kuti's Drummer), Hilario Duran, Luis Mario Ochoa, Paquito D'Rivera, Horacio "El Negro" Hernández, Reg Schwager, Dafnis Prieto, Francisco Mela, Barry Romberg, Darren Sigesmund, Cubanismo, Rich Brown (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, Canada’s Global Orchestra Kune . He has also shared the stage with international figures such as Barry Harris, Howard Johnson, Ray Vega, Steve Turre, Randy Brecker, Donald Harrison, Ingrid Jensen, Mark Feldman, Gary Versace and Hermeto Pascoal.
A career highlight for Luis is as an educator. He is presently faculty member of the prestigious Humber College as a private saxophone teacher and small and large ensemble instructor.
With an impressive career as a sideman and saxophonist, Luis continues to advance his own musical development. In 2010, he was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant to study with the innovative New York City-based saxophonist Greg Osby. With these accomplishments Luis Deniz is definitely someone to follow in the future of jazz music.