“I remember carrying it with me everywhere, especially over to friend’s houses
that did have record players. I was the guy with the Beatles record. The fact that I
couldn’t play it at home didn’t seem to bother me. The record seemed to have powers
far beyond mere machines. It was my Talisman”
So began a love of recorded music that has endured to the present, but
once Jeff started playing live, he realized that there was a whole other world of magic to be
“I love to instigate projects involving musicians with whom I share instant
rapport. Players I have met on other projects but who have not yet performed with
each other. I like to think of them as long lost brothers and sisters and these are
family reuions.I have never been disapointed.
Three of my recordings, Live at the Oasis Lounge, Deep Breathing and Black Mustard,
are the result of these first meetings.”
“I am inspired by all musical genres, from all ages.”
While attending the University of Guelph I was turned on to Early music of the Middle Ages and
the Renaissance. This had a huge impact on me and elements of this music continue to show up
in my work, in particular the music of the twelfth century German mystic Hildegard of Bingen.
Live improvised performance is also a particular favorite and often compositions start from
I am enthralled with the marriage of image and music and as well as scoring many film
and television productions I have as of late turned my hand to experimental film production
Long time resident of Guelph Ontario, Jeff Bird is best known for his 18 year
association with Cowboy Junkies. His multi-instrumental talents can be heard on the legendary
recording The Trinity Session and all Cowboy Junkies' subsequent albums. He has toured
extensively with them throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, gracing such
legendary stages as The Royal Albert Hall, Massey Hall and Carnegie Hall. Live television
performances include The Tonight Show, with the legendary Johnny Carson as well as Jay Leno
and Late Night with David Letterman.
He can be heard playing one or more of these instruments on more than
Electric and acoustic bass, eight string bass, Ashbory bass, electric and acoustic mandolin,
fiddle, piano, keyboards, guitar, harmonica, percussion, various wind instruments and vocals,
“Working as a side man with so many diverse artists
makes you aware of the vastness, and universality of musical language.”
In the world of Audio Video Jeff has realized may works including a short “docutale,”
Rink, which through the use of new and traditional folk tales, tells the magical story of a
complete season of a neighborhood outdoor skating rink.
The experimental music video Relentless, a moving, impressionistic digital painting, was a
selection of several Canadian and international film festivals.
Body Parts, a delightful look at one disjointed human being was included in the 2005 One
minute film festival in Toronto and his short, ANew York Minute was a finalist in the 2006
Mobifest film Festival . For the release of Everything is coming Clear and Plain to my
Understanding Jeff compiled a photographic odyssey to accompany the music.
Jeff is also a founding member of the renowned Canadian folk group Tamarack.
As a sideman he has performed and recorded with such diverse artists as Gregory
Hoskins, Loreena McKennitt, The Potion Kings with Kevin Breit,
Tony Quarrington, Mike Stevens, Jane Siberry, Sue Smith, Gwen Swick, the late great
old time fiddle master Graham Townshend.
Jeff has composed music for both film and television, including the feature
films South of Wawa, House, Niagara Niagara and Boys Club. In the fall of 2005 he scored
music for the NFB/TVO documentary Harvest Queens .Produced by Julia Nunes and Janis
His record production credits include, Tamarack, The Bird Sisters,
Black Cabbage, Amy Craze, Dark Monkey and Dennis Gomo.
Jeff has two solo studio recordings; Jeff Bird and Everything is Coming Clear and Plain
to My Understanding, as well as three live recordings, Live at the Oasis Lounge , Deep
Breathing and, Black Mustard with harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens .
He has recorded, produced and arranged music for a spoken word piece with
award winning Magnum photographer, Larry Towell. The piece explores Larry's 12 year
experience of living with and photographing old order Mennonites in Mexico and southern
As of 2006 Jeff has begun work on a third solo record entitled, Rhythm and
Entertainment, as well as two documentaries. One is about the “Hillside Festival” in his
home town of Guelph, Ontario, Canada and the second is a documentary about Accordion
master, mystic and long lost brother, Jaro Czerwinec.