Bill McBirnie - Flute News - February 2008


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Bill McBirnie Extreme Flute

Sun., Feb. 10th, 7:30 to 9:30 - Evening @ Portabella Restaurant Duo with Bernie Senensky (piano) 265 Main Street, Picton 613-476-7057

Sun., Feb. 24th, 12:00 to 3:00 - Brunch @ The Stonegrill on Winchester With Robi Botos (piano) and Artie Roth (bass) 51 Winchester St., Toronto 416-967-6565

Wed., Feb. 27th, 9:00 to 11:00 - Evening @ Mezzetta Cafe Restaurant With Robi Botos (piano) 681 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto 416-658-5687

Sun., Mar. 2nd, 10:30 - Morning Eglinton St. George's United Church With Brian Barlow's Trio 35 Lytton Blvd., Toronto 416-481-1141

Fri., Mar. 14th, 8:00 - Evening @ The Al Green Theatre In Concert with the Ruben Diaz Flamenco-Jazz Septet Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at the southwest corner of Spadina and Bloor, Toronto (NOTE: Ruben Diaz is a very, VERY talented flamenco guitarist!)

Fri., Mar. 28th, 8:30 to 11:30 - Evening @ The Old Mill - Home Smith Bar With Roy Patterson (guitar) and Neil Swainson (bass) 21 Old Mill Road, Toronto 416-236-2641

(2) TOP 50 LATIN JAZZ - 2007:

The title track from “Paco Paco" (which was written by Bernie Senensky) ended up in the Top 50 of the Latin Jazz Charts at the Italian web station, Radio Vinilemania for several months running in 2007. Two other Canadians whose songs also entered into the Top 50 were Bobby Rice's Sandunga (with the tune “Transition") as well as Hilario & His Latin Jazz Big Band (with the tune “Paq Man").


Louis recently made the following announcement:

“I am pleased to announce that I have been awarded with First Prize in the World Music category of the 2007 USA Song Writing Competition for my composition, 'Fado Torto'. The song features myself and frequent collaborators, extreme flautist, Bill McBirnie and percussionist, David Gouveia. Winners are selected by a committee of music industry judges including record label publishers, producers, A&R from Universal Music, Warner, EMI, Sony/BMG Music and other distinguished professionals. In addition to the award, the song will be featured on a compilation album released by the Competition for industry promotion and will be featured in international news and industry media publications."

I recognize that, as a contributing sideman, I am merely basking in Louis' glory here. However, let me take this opportunity to draw your attention to a very gifted Toronto musician. Louis Simao is a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer in the jazz and Latin (particularly Lusophone/Portuguese) idioms. Not too long ago, Louis released an album “Faia" (which he did in collaboration with saxophonist/writer, David French) and this is an amazing CD available at CD Baby (though unfortunately the tune, “Fado Torto", is not on it :-( Here is a quick link to Louis Simao at MySpace where you can check out some of his work: http://www.myspace.com/louissimaofaia


Years ago, I was exploring a John Coltrane effect, the “harmonic roll", which I then developed into an exercise that has served me well in terms of focusing and refining my flute sound. Although I developed the exercise for jazz purposes, it will be of benefit to ANY flutist (including doublers, of course) in ANY idiom. I am a very strong advocate of this exercise...and I make no secret of how you can go about learning it. Both the instructions (which are at Sir James Galway's web site) and a casual demonstration (which is at YouTube and runs at about 6.5 minutes) are mounted on the internet. The relevant links are as follows.

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