Bill McBirnie is a jazz and Latin flute specialist based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has studied with distinguished Canadian flutist and composer, Robert Aitken, as well as Cuban charanga legend, Richard Equez. Bill is known for his superior technique on the entire family of flutes (from bass flute to piccolo). He is also recognized as an accomplished improviser, notably in the bebop, swing and Latin idioms as illustrated by his recordings as a sideman with Junior Mance,
Irakere, Memo Acevedo and Cache.
Bill has produced two of his own EXTREME FLUTE projects and, most recently, a straight-ahead acoustic jazz recording under his own name featuring
The Mark Eisenman Trio entitled, "Nature Boy" (which attained the No. 4 spot in Jazz.FM91's Top 40 international line-up for 2003 in Canada as well as being in the spin line-up of Bob Parlocha's syndicated jazz radio program in the US). Needless to say, "Nature Boy" has garnered consistently excellent reviews internationally—in Canada, the US, Britain and Holland. Some sample comments on Bill's flute work follow:
"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 also been chosen Flutist of the Year by the Jazz Report Awards, nominated as Miscellaneous Instrumentalist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards and, more recently, declared a winner of the U.S.A. National Flute Association's triennial Jazz Flute Masterclass Competition.
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