"I got into timbales listening to Ray Barreto back in the 70's. Orestes Vilato was one of my inspirations, Nicky Marerro, and Tito Puente definitely. I started listening more and more to Latin music and not so much to the Motown. From there I got into congas, bongos and everything else. I started playing in bars when I was 13, 14, playing timbales. My first gigs as a timbale player were with Puerto Rican trios. I also played Latin rock. Whatever bands were in town, I'd get my gear and go rehearse with them. And that was mainly my practice."Bonilla names Motown, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, The Beatles, Cal Tjader, Orestes Vilato, Ray Barratto, Mongo Santamaria, Patato, and Tito Puente as his musical influences.
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