Bill McBirnie has achieved something decidedly unlikely for a Canadian flute player, raised in the small town of Port Colborne, Ontario.
Despite a rather unremarkable musical beginning, he has succeeded in attaining an international standing as one of today's foremost jazz flutists, all while rarely setting foot outside of his native city of Toronto, Ontario.
What has made his slow but steady progress possible has been a long and diligent study of both jazz and classical techniques which Bill combined with a patient determination to make the flute sound natural and convincing in non-classical contexts.
Bill's longstanding commitment to the instrument has earned him consistently unequivocal acclaim and awards, both here in Canada and abroad; including Flutist of the Year (Jazz Report Awards), winner of all three of the Jazz Flute (1) Soloist, (2) Masterclass and (3) Big Band Competitions (National Flute Association in the USA), Best Jazz Album (Toronto Independent Music Awards) and nomination for Best Jazz Album (Independent Music Awards in the USA).
As a testimony to his noteworthy place in the international flute community, Bill was solicited personally by the esteemed classical flutist, Sir James Galway, to serve as his resident Jazz Flute Specialist at Sir James' official web site—and this despite Bill’s limited renown and virtual seclusion in Canada.