Celebrated saxophonist Luis Deniz joins School of Music faculty

A man smiles while holding a saxophone

An accomplished saxophonist, who has performed on Juno Award-winning and Grammy nominated recordings, is the Brandon University (BU) School of Music’s newest faculty member.

Luis Deniz has joined the School of Music as an Assistant Professor of Jazz. Deniz has an exemplary record as a musician and an educator. His debut album, El Tinajon, was nominated for a 2023 Juno Award for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo. He has also been a Juno winner as a member of the Hilario Durán Latin Jazz Big Band, and a Grammy nominee with the same group. Deniz has also been a winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors 2006 at the Montreal Jazz Festival with the David Virelles Quintet and the Galaxie Rising Star 2010 at the Halifax Jazz Festival with Rich Brown and Rinsethealgorithm. Deniz has taught at Toronto’s Humber College and at the University of Toronto jazz studies program.

“My goal at Brandon University is to contribute as much as possible to the faculty and the student body by performing locally and exchanging ideas, concepts and musical experiences, in addition to my teaching responsibilities at the university,” Deniz said.

Born in Camagüey, Cuba Deniz began his musical studies in his hometown at the age of 10. Upon moving to the capital of Havana, he followed in the footsteps of some of Cuba’s most prominent musicians by graduating with the highest honours from the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Musica. He moved to Toronto in 2004 and immediately made his mark, performing with top musicians in both the local and international scenes. He has toured and conducted workshops around the world.

“We’re over the moon to welcome Luis to our School of Music,” said Greg Gatien, Dean of Music at BU. “He has shared the stage with many of Canada’s jazz luminaries, and his performance experience and desire to share his knowledge will help our students grow tremendously as musicians.”

Deniz was well acquainted with Brandon joining BU. He played a 2019 pro series concert with Ethan Ardelli’s quartet and returned to the Wheat City last year as a featured performer and clinician in the Brandon University Jazz Festival.

“My experience here has been amazing,” Deniz said. “I love how united the faculty is, as well as involved with the community, and always making sure that the students get the best experience possible.”

In addition to their teaching duties, Deniz and his faculty colleagues are busy getting ready for this year’s BU Jazz Festival, which takes place from March 14 to 16. More information about the festival is available at BUJazzFest.ca.


To receive any BU publication in an alternate format please contact Communications@BrandonU.ca

About BU

Success is built at Brandon University. Our growing, progressive campus welcomes a diverse and inclusive community that combines proud tradition with shared ambition. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, we educate students to make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Join us at BrandonU.ca.