Marc Bonilla

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Marc Bonilla
Marc Bonilla - Live in Concert with California Transit Authority
Marc Bonilla - Live in Concert with California Transit Authority
Background information
Birth nameMarc Henry Bonilla[1]
Born (1955-07-03) July 3, 1955 (age 67)[2][1]
Contra Costa County, California[1]

Marc Bonilla (born July 3 1955) is an American guitarist and composer. He has worked with Keith Emerson (including on 1995's Changing States and in 2006-2016 was featured in the Keith Emerson Band), Ronnie Montrose, Glenn Hughes (on Addiction (produced, co-written and performed), The Way It Is, 1999, also playing keyboards), David Coverdale (late 2000 live band) and Kevin Gilbert (Toy Matinee live band). He also appears on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute album Encores, Legends & Paradox (Magna Carta Records, 1999) and a spoken word album with comedian Bobby Gaylor for Atlantic entitled "Fuzzatonic Scream" including the controversial single, "Suicide" in 1998, toured with Edgar Winter, and produced the recent DVD release "The Official Keith Emerson Tribute Concert".

He has released a number of solo albums. Among them, EE Ticket (Reprise, 1991), and American Matador (Warner Brothers, 1993), which includes covers of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and "I Am the Walrus" with guest Ronnie Montrose.

Bonilla currently plays in California Transit Authority,[3] a project led by former Chicago drummer, founding member and Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer Danny Seraphine, featuring some updates to early Chicago songs as well as new material and has currently completed the follow-up album of all original material. He has also produced, co-written and performed with the Keith Emerson Band's new album. In addition, he tours with Eddie Jobson's UZ Project as singer, guitarist and bassist.[4]

Bonilla is originally from the San Francisco Bay area and, along with Joe Satriani, was one of the preeminent rock guitar teachers in the Bay area during the 1980s. Bonilla moved to LA in the early 1990s to work on TV and movie scoring working with James Newton Howard, John Debney, and others, earning an Emmy nomination in 2001. In addition, he had cameo roles in the 1997 television series Night Man about a crime-fighting sax player, for which he was the musical director and acted as a performer (with his band) in several episodes under the alias Marc Bonilla and Dragonchoir. He has done guitars for numerous films such as The Replacements, The Scorpion King, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man 2, Green Lantern, The Bourne Legacy, and composed and performed the music on the hit series, Justified, on FX channel, with keyboardist Steve Porcaro (Toto). He also composed for Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. He also lectured at LA's Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT). He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son and has recently completed a new ground-breaking album with Keith Emerson titled The Three Fates Project with the Munich Radio Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Terje Mikkelsen and has finished work on an album Beyond The Stars - Keith Emerson with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and also the follow-up long-awaited third guitar instrumental album called Celluloid Debris available exclusively at He also currently tours with Harry Shearer (aka Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap) playing guitar, bass and mandolin.

Although Bonilla appears in the video for Toy Matinee's "Ballad of Jenny Ledge," he did not actually play lead guitar on the album. Lead guitar work for the Toy Matinee LP was done by LA studio guitarist Tim Pierce, though Bonilla replaced him for the touring incarnation of the band along with Sheryl Crow.

Around the time that EE Ticket was released, Yamaha musical instruments produced a prototype left-handed Marc Bonilla model guitar. This guitar was embellished with comic book superheroes, of which Bonilla was very fond. (

Aside from his work as a musician, Bonilla was also a graphic artist, who did album cover designs for Ronnie Montrose, with his 1986 solo album Territory and with his band Montrose, the 1987 album Mean.

Fallen Angels Tour 2017[edit]

In April 2017 Bonilla and Eddie Jobson began the "Fallen Angels Tour," a tribute to the music of John Wetton & Keith Emerson, commencing at London's Under the Bridge venue at Chelsea F.C.'s Stamford Bridge stadium on 22 April.

He is currently playing guitar and touring with Harry Shearer in the Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap) "Smalls Change Tour". In 2022, Asia announced a 40th Anniversary Tour, with Marc Bonilla on guitar and vocals.



Glenn Hughes[edit]

Bobby Gaylor[edit]

Keith Emerson[edit]

Keith Emerson - Glenn Hughes - Marc Bonilla[edit]

CTA -Danny Seraphine and the California Transit Authority[edit]

Saville Row[edit]

2014: The Way Around It (w/Troy Luccketta, Mika Greiner, Travis Davis)

Ronnie Montrose[edit]

  • 2017: 10x10 - Track "Head On Straight"


The Wring[edit]

  • 2021: The Wring2 - Project Cypher



External links[edit]