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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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SIR JAMES GALWAY—”I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your latest, and greatest, CD. I’ve listened to it several times and it’s a really terrific record. You are my favourite jazz flutist…This album is a real knock- out!…”

DOWNBEAT—”…Toronto’s deep pool of local talent was on display at dozens of events…Opening for Eliane Elias, flutist Bill McBirnie proved a passionate and eloquent improviser with sure-footed support from pianist Bernie Senensky. Their set included...a show-stopping finale penned by Senensky...inspired by Hermeto Pascoal and Charlie Parker.” (Allen Morrison)

JAZZTIMES—”Best Opening Act [at the TD Jazz Festival] – Eliane Elias delivered a solid, opening-weekend show at the Old Mill Inn, focusing squarely on selections from her recent Chet Baker tribute, I Thought About You

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Primary Instrument

Flute

Location

Toronto

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Credentials/Background

Typically, the people who come to me for lessons are (1) classical players trying to cross over into jazz and (2) doublers wanting to improve their flute technique for jazz purposes. Other instrumentalists come to me for coaching as well on how I approach improvising. My students genuinely appreciate what I have to offer because it is...singular...often, peculiar to the flute...and, more importantly, it is not in any books!...

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Photos

Albums

Forever

Extreme Flute
2021

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The Silent Wish

Extreme Flute
2018

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Grain of Sand

Extreme Flute
2015

buy

Find Your Place

Extreme Flute
2014

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Find Your Place

Extreme Flute
2013

buy

Mercy

Self Produced
2011

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My Heart Belongs To Daddy

From: The Silent Wish
By Bill McBirnie

Yes Or No

From: Find Your Place
By Bill McBirnie

Willow Weep For Me

From: Mercy (featuring Robi Botos)
By Bill McBirnie

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