Photo by Greg King

The Bill McBirnie/Bernie Senensky Duo
Opening for Eliane Elias at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival

    "…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 works by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Clare Fischer and a show-stopping finale penned by Senensky that [McBirnie] said was inspired by Hermeto Pascoal and Charlie Parker.” (by ALLEN MORRISON 7/16/2013)

The Bill McBirnie/Bernie Senensky Duo
Opening for Eliane Elias at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival

    "Best Opening Act - 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. But it was the dynamic opening duo of pianist and composer Bernie Senensky and flutist Bill McBirnie that, battling a cacophony of cutlery, truly set the expansive dining room aflame and, ironically, provided far more satisfying dips into the Brazilian songbook. For the uninitiated, check out their 2005 pairing on Paco Paco." (by CHRISTOPHER LOUDON 7/8/2013)

The Bill McBirnie Trio
Find Your Place

    "...An effervescent, joyous quality pervades The Bill McBirnie Trio's Find Your Place [which] showcases a wide range of grooves, from bop and bossa to gospel and swing…Those new to McBirnie will be amazed at his imagination and originality on this engaging album."  (by MARK HOLSTON Spring 2014 Edition, page 109)


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!…"


   JUNO Awards - Nominated - Instrumental Album of the Year - THE SILENT WISH - 2020

   Indie Shark - Nominated - Best Album - THE SILENT WISH - 2018

   USA Songwriting Competition - Nominated - (1) Best World ("Isabel") and (2) Best Instrumental ("Grain of Sand") for GRAIN OF SAND - 2016

   Toronto Independent Music Awards - Winner - Best Instrumental Album 

   Toronto Independent Music Awards - Nominated - Best World Album

   USA Independent Music Awards - Vox Pop - Winner - The Bill McBirnie Trio - FIND YOUR PLACE - 2016

   Global Music Awards - Silver - Extreme Flute - Instrumentalist Category

   Toronto Independent Music Awards - Nominated - Best Jazz Album 
DESVIO - 2015

​   USA Independent Music Awards - Nominated - Best Jazz Instrumental Category - FIND YOUR PLACE - 2015

   Toronto Independent Music Awards - Nominated - Best Jazz Album 

   Wm. S. Haynes Co. - Designated a "Haynes Artist" - 2013

   National Flute Association - Winner - Jazz Flute Soloist Competition 

   USA Independent Music Awards - Nominated - Best Jazz Album  
MERCY - 2011

   Toronto Independent Music Awards - Winner - Best Jazz Album  
MERCY - 2010

   National Flute Association - Winner - Jazz Flute Big Band Competition 2009

   National Jazz Awards - Nominated - Best Album - PACO PACO and 
Nominated - Best Instrumentalist (Flute) - 2007

   Resident Jazz Flute Specialist at Sir James Galway's Official Web Site 2006

   Top 40 Album - Jazz.FM91 & "Jazz With Bob Parlocha" - NATURE BOY 

   National Flute Association - Winner - Jazz Flute Masterclass Competition 2003

   The Jazz Report - Flutist of the Year - 1999


"...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)

 “I have been listening to your record, non-stop, for the past two days and I can only say, it is AMAZING...Fantastic!...”  SIR JAMES GALWAY (December 2009)

“Clean, pure, bebop flute played with disgusting control and shameless ease.  You are a bad boy!  And then Robi Botos.  That guy is a killer!”  HENDRIK MEURKENS (December 2009)

"Bill, wonderful album!  Really excellent.  I know I won't be able to do it justice, but I'll try."  MARK HOLSTON (December 2013)

“It is clear that these musicians are of very high caliber and qualify fully…on all dimensions, due in no small part to the virtuosity of the leader who simply takes your breath away…Thanks to this talented Canadian flutist, the classic Blue Note ‘60s sound of Jimmy Smith is set in an new dimension, a concept that is realized completely, combining past and present, perfectly.”  VITTORIO (MusicZoom, Italy, May 26, 2014)

"[T]echnical magnificence.  McBirnie is one of the best living jazz flautists in the world while Botos, also an award-winning pianist, is one of the strongest jazz piano players on the scene today.  Together, they have produced a power-packed album that highlights their virtuosic talents. Technically stunning musicianship is coupled with powerful emotions that combine grace and beauty, providing a bountiful feast of audio delight.  PAUL J. YOUNGMAN (All About Jazz)

“McBirnie is one of the finest flutists in Canada – perhaps in all of North America. His technique is flawless…never faltering, not even for a nanosecond…[T]his may easily be one of the finest recordings of this year…McBirnie is at the top of his game, ”  RAUL DA GAMA (Latin Jazz Network)

"...McBirnie's earlier albums established him as a virtuoso and his solos here are, once again, a model of creativity and clarity.  His choice of selections for the a balanced cross-section of classics from Cole Porter to Lennon/McCartney via Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon and Thelonius Monk.  It all works beautifully.  This one is a keeper!"  PETER WESTBROOK  (Pan, Quarterly Journal of the BFS)

“The CD just knocked me out and, to put the matter simply, Bill McBirnie is one heckuva flute player.  I mean he’s all over the instrument and plays it unerringly with great fire and passion…There is nothing effete about his approach…Superb flute playing…”  STEVEN CERRA (Jazz Profiles)

"...McBirnie balances a love of melody with the joy of frolicking as he dashes about with chops-a-plenty during all of his solos..."  DAN BILAWSKY (

"...McBirnie's reputation is solid.  He demonstrates uncanny ability as an improviser throughout...delivering one mighty solo after another..."  EDWARD BLANCO (All About Jazz) 

“Canada’s best kept musical secret!…McBirnie is cut from that Hubert Laws/Sir James Galway cloth, and still he represents a completely unique experience and artistic voice to be reckoned with…Find Your Place is an apt title for a release that is flawless and presents McBirnie as a talent whose artistic stock is an arrow pointing straight up!”  BRENT BLACK (Bop-N-Jazz)

“If you are not already aware of McBirnie, then from the very first note, you will hear that he is a remarkable craftsman...This is flute playing that is a pure joy to hear – from the first to the nth repetition...[T]he simultaneous improvising by McBirnie and Botos is astounding..."Moment’s Notice” by John Coltrane is characterized in the liner notes as an “up swing”.  However, the performance by just these two masters makes any characterization irrelevant as the performance of both the head and the improvising compelled me to put down my pen – mesmerized – as I listened to it over and over...McBirnie chooses excellent repertoire which he then proceeds to execute with perfect tone, style and empathy...An absolutely fantastic recording!”  KORNILIOS DIAMANTOPOULOS (Jazz & Tzaz, The Hellenic Jazz Magazine)

"The most striking thing about the third album in Torontonian Bill McBirnie's acoustic jazz series is the utter clarity and precision of everyone's playing...McBirnie lights his charts on fire...with amazing technique...but his duo and quartet companions are every bit as dazzling as he.  JOHN TERAUDS (The Toronto Star)

"This new album of Bill's demonstrates that the flute is in the hands of a virtuoso who, beyond any doubt, is able to perform in virtually any style...and it is no accident that the cover of the album itself underscores the contribution of pianist, Robi Botos.  The role and impact that this bright young pianist brings to the entire project cannot be overstated.  His style and technique is unmistakably reminiscent of the unforgettable Oscar Peterson, so the duos - with just Robi and Bill - are, for me, highlights of the album." LEONID AUSKERN (Jazz Quad, Nestor Publishing, Russia)

"McBirnie's explorations are luminous as he makes each note glow...the shades and the contrasts as transparent as the emotion and the verve...So, with each track [of Mercy] carving its own beguiling niche, the music is, to put it quite simply, awesome!"  JERRY D'SOUZA (

"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.  There are precious few flutists who can make the instrument burn with musical intensity the way McBirnie does...McBirnie shows a range of emotional colours on both Latin and jazz standards in duo and quartet configurations...McBirnie deserves to be placed alongside Moe Koffman and Herbie Mann in the pantheon of jazz flute."  ANDY SHEPPARD (After Hours, CBC Radio)

"There are both hard swinging and tender moments with alternate stops in between in this varied program...A gale force wind from the Great White North..."  IRA GITLER (Apple Chorus, Jazz Inside NY)

"Include Bill McBirnie as an integral player in Canadian jazz.  The Toronto-based flautist has marked his credentials through recordings of his own as well as appearances on albums by Junior Mance, Memo Acevedo and Irakere...Listening to McBirnie also makes his credentials clear.  He dips into the nectar of a melody and his dulcet tones rise to trigger the core of his imagination for some really fascinating improvisational flights.  These facets are made abundantly clear on Paco Paco." JERRY D’SOUZA (All About Jazz)

“...Effortless rhythmic note placement…fleet and inspired…weaving creative, satisfying, constantly developing melodic lines in masterly fashion...Both the duo and quartet delight and surprise...Mercy is yet another classic hour of top jazz flute in the McBirnie acoustic tradition.”  JIM LANGABEER (Flute Focus)

"McBirnie is the record's hero.  In an unassuming manner, he has recast the way the flute is played.  His breathing is easy and sustained and his control is complete.  Moreover, he is genuinely one of the most creative flutists...Mercy is a true gem... RAUL DA GAMA (AAJ Senior Editor)

"Bill McBirnie has a powerful claim to be Canada's best player on flute...What always stands out is his outstanding tone, agile technique and fecund imagination."  GEOFF CHAPMAN (The Toronto Star)

"I highly recommend Nature Boy.  The music is joyous and energetic throughout...I'm just itching to play it for some classical flutists I know.  I can't wait to see the expressions on their faces when they hear Bill practically turn the flute inside out on Teaneck."  MERLIN WILLIAMS (Wholenote Magazine)

"Now that the great Moe Koffman is no longer among us, there's an opening in Canada for an outstanding straight-ahead jazz flutist and, with Nature Boy, Bill McBirnie has submitted his application and staked his claim...In the liner notes, McBirnie is modest about his talents but he needn't be.  He has absolutely great chops, a clear sparkling sound and enough luminous ideas to brighten anyone's melancholy frame of mind."  JACK BOWERS (All About Jazz)

"With subtle playing, mature and confident swing, beautiful and well-chosen compositions throughout, there is now nothing to stand in the way of Bill McBirnie qualifying for the outstanding reputation he has developed."  BERENGERE RICHARD (Traversieres, The Official Magazine of the French Flute Association) 

"With a full tone, pin-sharp articulation, the occasional witty quote and some jazz licks that pay a compliment to the listener who can catch them (and which sometimes evaporate before they can be fully identified), McBirnie demonstrates that he is an impressive performer by any standard...This album is a treasure."  DON SMITH (Night Train, 3RPP FM, Australia) 

“...[A] masterful performance...[Bill] plays with classical virtuosity, jazz-swing intensity and Latin appassionata...He runs the flute through harmonious, melodic phrasing which is at times gentle as a breeze, but he can build a solo to a gale force wind, never loosing the pleasing, melodic soul of the tune...Superb soloing...Nothing less than fantastic...Masterful brilliance and sumptuous beauty...” PAUL J. YOUNGMAN (Radio Vinilemania)

"Canadian, Bill McBirnie, has good claim to be the instrument's best champion since the late Herbie Mann.  A fluid player with a firm command of tone and no interest in the overblown roughness adapted by many flute players after Roland Kirk, McBirnie has his own elegant way with bop, ballads, bossa and gospel."  RANDAL MCILROY (Style Manitoba)

"McBirnie is indeed a fluid player with a sound and tone that is absolutely as 
good as it gets."  JOHN GILBERT (

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