Bill McBirnie is a jazz and Latin flute specialist based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has studied with renowned American flutist, Samuel Baron, distinguished Canadian flutist and composer, Robert Aitken, as well as Cuban charanga legend, Richard Egues. Bill’s extraordinary level of skill as a flutist resulted in a personal solicitation from Sir James Galway to serve as his resident Jazz Flute Specialist at Sir James' official website.
Bill is known for his outstanding technique. However, he is also recognized as an exceptional improviser (notably in the bebop, swing and Latin idioms) as demonstrated by his numerous recordings as a sideman with the likes of Junior Mance, Irakere, Memo Acevedo and Emilie-Claire Barlow. Needless to say, Bill has performed and recorded extensively with Toronto's finest musicians including as a charter member of Bernie Senensky's, Moe Koffman Tribute Band.
Here are a few illustrative comments regarding Bill's work:
- "Dear Maestro McBirnie, ...This just blew me away. Great, great playing...Innovative...I have never heard anyone play like this...Great technique and music making. The scales are so even it sounds like he wrote the Taffanel scale book...Bill, when you read this, I have to take my hat off to you. This is great playing by any standard." SIR JAMES GALWAY (Galway-Flute-Chat)
- “In both duo and quartet formats, McBirnie dazzles...In every instance, his technique is flawless, dynamic and often simply jaw-dropping...McBirnie has been called Canada’s standout jazz flautist. I maintain he is one of the top two or three in the world." MARK E. GALLO (JazzReview.com)
- "A distinguished flutist with a devotion that shows up in the airy sweetness of his sound at ballad tempos and in the remarkable control he can bring to rapid-fire, skittering runs on up tempo, Coltrane-inspired material." STUART BROOMER (Editor, Coda magazine)
- "McBirnie has always handled bop exceptionally well. You can hear his years at the conservatory in his sound, a pure, transparent tone at rest, brightening with exertion, yet he swings like someone who grew up with a large collection of Blue Note and Prestige LPs down in the basement. He's entirely idiomatic, but also effortlessly inventive." MARK MILLER (The Globe and Mail)
- "...All beautifully recorded, unclassifiable, and virtually timeless..." MICHAEL STEINMAN (Cadence Magazine)
Bill has produced two Extreme Flute projects and three straight-ahead acoustic jazz recordings under his own name, entitled Nature Boy (featuring The Mark Eisenman Trio) and Paco Paco (featuring pianist, Bernie Senensky) and Mercy (featuring pianist, Robi Botos). All of three of these more recent albums have attained Top 40 spots on Jazz.FM91 and on Bob Parlocha's US syndicated jazz program, receiving recurring air-play in their respective spin cycles. All three albums have also garnered consistently excellent reviews internationally, in Canada, the USA, Britain, Australia, France, Holland, Greec and Spain. Mercy was awarded Best Jazz Album in the Toronto Independent Music Awards (2010) and was nominated for a US Independent Music Award (2011) in that same category.
His most recent release, Find Your Place (with Bernie Senensky on Hammond B3 and Anthony Michelli on drums), now presents him in a singular, organ trio format.
Bill was chosen Flutist of the Year by the Jazz Report Awards, nominated as Miscellaneous Instrumentalist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards and has been a winner in all three of the National Flute Association’s Jazz Flute (1) Soloist, (2) Masterclass and (3) Big Band Competitions. Bill is also active as teacher and clinician and has been a longstanding contributor to the Woodwinds column of Canadian Musician magazine. Finally, Bill has been designated a “Haynes Artist” by the esteemed flute manufacturer, Wm. S. Haynes Co.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-652-1541
Web Site: http://www.extremeflute.com
CDs/MP3s: http://www.cdbaby.com/all/extreme flute