Edwin Bonilla was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. When he was 4 he moved to Elizabeth New Jersey where he spent most of his childhood. Motown R&B Music and Rock was what he listen to growing up besides listening the Puerto Rican Ã?JibaroooÃ? style music at home that his parents would usually play. At age 11, he started listening to more and more of the New York style of music like Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, etc. At age 13, he got his first pair of Timbales, and basically taught himself to play. By the age 14, he was already making money working with "Trio", a Jibaro style group in Elizabeth that eventually led him to playing with bigger Salsa bands. By the age 15 he started playing with a local Jersey band called "Orq", and "Sonica" which had two well known members Jimmy Bosch on trombone and Herman Olivera on vocals. From then on he played in many groups. He also studied music at the Drummers Collective in New York. In 1981 he joined a charanga band named "Charanga Casino " who were pretty hot in the New York area and worked a lot in the New York scene in the early eighties. Playing with Charanga Casino sparked an interest in Edwin to learn the roots of Cuban music. He started listening to Cuban Septetos, the Tipicas of Cuba like La America, Arcatio, Chapottin, Beny More, Descargas de Cachao, Aragon, Papines, Mufiequitos de Matanzas Etc. In 1987 he moved to Miami where he started working with Hansel Y Raul and from there went on to work on over 500 projects including studio work, videos, and movie scores, and to a gig playing with Gloria Estefan.
Some of his other projects include playing and recording with: Madonna, Dave Grusin, N'Sync, Julio Iglesias, Jose Feliciano, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, Celine Dion, Bellamy Brothers, Lenny Kravitz, Manhattan Transfer, Marc Anthony, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Gypy Kings, Roberto Blades and more. Grammy Award winning projects include: Quincy Jones' "Jook Joint", Frank Sinatra - Duet II, Jon Secada - "Amor", and Arturo Sandoval - "Juke Joint."
"Zildjian cymbals are my absolute favorite."