Born in London, Gavin spent much of his childhood in South Africa growing up with a love of rock and African music and rhythms. A move back to London aged 14 opened up a world of musical diversity and he played with all kinds of bands touring round England and playing at many festivals including Glastonbury.
Years of travel followed to Australia, Europe, Canada, India, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Turkey and more where he absorbed different philosphies, languages, stories and musical styles. Some great percussionists he has studied with include Glen Velez (USA), Zohar Fresco(Israel), Pete Lockett(UK), Achu and Prosper Gagadu (Ghana), Numan Elyer and Tarik Tuysuzoglu (Turkey).
He has performed and recorded alongside legends such as Bill Bruford, Gary Husband, Juan Martin, Congolese percussionist Douze Balles, founder and leader of Mbonda Loningisa, and cellist Julia Palmer (Nigel Kennedy). Gavin has an amazing collection of instruments and is ready to add anything from a simple shaker part to multi percussion tracks to your sound!
Gavin Bonner is an inspiration! A poet, storyteller, musician and praise singer in one, he lets his wordplay weave and speak spontaneously to whatever is happening in a group of people."
While living in Sydney, Australia, Gavin earned his living as a street performer playing the Djembe Drum. After a while he began to make passing commentaries in his mind about passers by (the tone often determined by the tip they gave or not!) When he started vocalising these rhyming commentaries the tips became larger and more frequent! Slowly this developed into the ability to tell stories spontaneously, in rhyme, often accompanying himself on drums...
his humour and lightning quick improvisational skills always go down a treat with audiences.
Gavin does regular storytelling performances fusing traditional tales from around the world, modern tales and improvised stories. He usually has a large selection of drums with him and loves to collaborate with fellow storytellers, poets and musicians.
A recent 3 month intensive study period at The School of Storytelling in the UK deepened and informed his storytelling work. Stories have the power to entertain, to heal, to transform perception and Gavin loves to share story with children and adults alike. Gavin lives in Cape Town, South Africa and regularly performs in the UK and elsewhere.