Jazz man

With a music career marked by performances at the Catalina Jazz Festival, the Jazz Yatra Festival in India and the 2002 Olympics opening ceremony, Bill Bonifas has struck an international chord on the guitar.

Bonifas, executive vice president at CBRE in Milwaukee, has also harmonized with high-profile names in jazz circles, including Grammy Award winning bassist Steve Rodby, international jazz drummer Ernie Adams, Grammy Award winning musician Douglas Spotted Eagle, and Milwaukee jazz guitarist George Pritchett.

He has also become a rising musician in Milwaukee, with a stage presence at Jazz in the Park and Mason Street Grill, among other hotspots.

After joining a variety band, known as Believe It, and then starting a jazz fusion band dubbed Random Walk, he launched the Bonifas Quartet in order to take the lead in writing music, selecting songs and coordinating musicians. The Quartet is currently working on an album, “HeartStrings.”

As a composer, Bonifas said he often strings together unconventional chord progressions inspired by everything from a melody he hears to a personal moment in his life.

Bonifas (rear) jams with famed flute player and performer Douglas Spotted Eagle.

“There’s all these different branching off points,” he said. “There’s no one way I write a song.”

Before he steps into the recording studio, Bonifas aims to strengthen his playing and “find the best team (of musicians) out there.”

“I want my guitar playing to be up one level before I record as I am an eternal student of jazz guitar, just like I am always trying to improve my skill for my real estate projects and always work with the best ‘players,’” Bonifas said.

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