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Bill McBirnie

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 has also been solicited by no less than Sir James Galway to serve as his resident Jazz Flute Specialist at Sir James' official web site.

Bill is well 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 recordings as a sideman with Junior Mance, Irakere, Memo Acevedo and Emile-Claire Barlow. Needless to say, Bill has performed and recorded extensively with Toronto's finest musicians and is a longstanding 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)

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”...A superior jazz flutist...As with many Canadian players, his fame has not often reached below the border into the United States but his music is well worth knowing. He sounds unlike anyone else having developed his own musical personality yet within the traditions of the music. McBirnie has two recent releases, Nature Boy and Paco Paco. Both sets are highly recommended.” (SCOTT YANOW, Los Angeles Jazz Scene)

“Bill McBirnie is one of the finest jazz flute performers in jazz today...His technique is flawless and sensual...Simply excellent!...” (LEE PROSSER, Jazz Review)

“Toronto's Bill McBirnie occupies the rarefied air of jazz flute with a sense of style and swing that sets him apart

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Primary Instrument

Flute

Location

Toronto

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Typically, the people who come to me are (1) classical players who are trying to cross over into jazz and (2) doublers who want to improve their flute technique for jazz purposes. My students genuinely appreciate what I have to offer because it is...singular...peculiar to the flute...and, most importantly, it is not in any books!

Clinic/Workshop Information

My clinics are of interest to both flutists and doublers who want to explore and develop the techniques necessary to play in jazz and other non-classical contexts

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Discography

The Silent Wish

The Silent Wish

Extreme Flute
2018

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Grain of Sand

Grain of Sand

Extreme Flute
2015

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Find Your Place

Find Your Place

Extreme Flute
2014

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Find Your Place

Find Your Place

Extreme Flute
2013

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Mercy

Mercy

Self Produced
2011

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Mercy

Mercy

Self Produced
2010

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My Heart Belongs To Daddy

My Heart Belongs To Daddy

Bill McBirnie
The Silent Wish

Yes Or No

Yes Or No

Bill McBirnie
Find Your Place

Willow Weep For Me

Willow Weep For Me

Bill McBirnie
Mercy (featuring Robi Botos)

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