Bill McBirnie & Louis Simao

Join this incredible duo as they perform songs from Brazil, Portugal and the Portuguese diaspora. Bill's extreme flute and Louis' masterful guitar and vocals are sure to transport you into summer with a beautiful and nuanced performance. (Reservations are encouraged at this venue because it is both intimate and usually booked solid!)

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer and producer, Louis Simão, represents the voice of a new generation within the broad spectrum of lusophone music. His sound is a cry and celebration of saudade from the distant past and the unlikely outpost of Portugal. Although he is intimately linked to Portuguese folkloric music through the accordion and guitar, he is also steeped in the Brazilian idiom as well as modern jazz in his capacity as a multi-faceted vocalist, guitarist, bassist, pianist and percussionist. His original works enable his listeners to experience the sounds of Portuguese folk music and fado, MPB and the rhythms of Brazil along with strains of Angolan music fused with funk and reggae—all rounded out by an improvisatory approach with a well-honed jazz sensibility. Subtle and ostensibly simple, Simão's music is, in fact, executed with finesse, harmonic sophistication and a solid groove. His rhythmic conception is entrenched in Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Portuguese rhythms which, in conjunction with his sensitive lyrical and highly melodic concept, offer a musical journey that blends cultural genres utilizing the Portuguese folkloric material as a common thread. Louis is a truly astonishing and refreshing first-generation Canadian artist with one foot in his native country of Canada and the other squarely in his parents’ customs and traditions of Portugal resulting in a unique musical sensibility.

Bill is a jazz and Latin flute specialist based in Toronto, Ontario. He has studied with distinguished Canadian flutist and composer, Robert Aitken, and Cuban charanga legend, Richard Egues. Bill is known for his exceptional 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 the likes of Junior Mance, Irakere, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Memo Acevedo and Cache. He has produced two Extreme Flute projects and, in addition, two straight-ahead acoustic jazz recordings under his own name, “Nature Boy”, (featuring The Mark Eisenman Trio) and “Paco Paco” (with Bernie Senensky) both of which have entered in Jazz.FM91's Top 40 line-ups as well as being in the spin cycle of Bob Parlocha’s widely syndicated jazz radio show in the U.S. He has also been declared a winner at the USA National Flute Association’s Jazz Flute Masterclass Competition, chosen Flutist of the Year by the Jazz Report Awards and, more recently, nominated as Instrumentalist of the Year (for flute) and Album of the Year (for "Paco Paco") at the National Jazz Awards. Also, Bill has been recruited by no less than Sir James Galway to serve as his Resident Jazz Flute Specialist at the official Sir James Galway web site.

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