The Marc Atkinson Trio
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The Marc Atkinson Trio


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Featuring lead acoustic guitarist Atkinson, rhythm guitarist Christopher Frye and bassist Joey Smith, the Marc Atkinson Trio barreled through a set of Django Reinhardt-influenced gypsy jazz with bristling energy and virtuosity.

Atkinson is a gifted musician with superb technical skills. Mostly using a single plectrum, he favours a hard attack that produced an attractive snap and twang. The guitarist tore through extremely difficult improvisations with consummate skill and confidence. He was ably backed by Frye and Smith, providing rhythmically precise accompaniment. Standout tunes included a reworking of Chopin's Waltz
in A Minor and a bluesy rave-up, Boilermaker.
- Times Colonist - June 30, 2004

The spirit of Django Reinhardt is alive and well on Vancouver Island, thanks to the Marc Atkinson Trio. On this, the band's third release, lead guitarist Atkinson, rhythm guitarist Chris Frye and bassist Joey Smith play an inspired set of acoustic swing-jazz.
Atkinson wrote 9 of the dozen songs on the CD, and his compositions are as versitile as his playing. Yes, there are brisk swing tunes (Cleo's Claws, A Fire In The Rain) and ballads(The Proposal), but there are also surprises. 'String Bustin' Rag' is the closest you can come to a guitar band imitating a stride pianist; Frye and Smith handle the rooted rhythms that a pianist would play with his left hand, while Atkinson handles the active right hand parts. 'Dierdre' which Atkinson plays without accompaniment, has a baroque feel, and 'Cinque Terre' rolls out like something Bach would write, only with guitars and bass playing piano.
One of the non-originals, Duke Ellington's 'Black And Tan Fantasy', begins as a march, then swings lightly as Atkinson solos using single-note runs and Rich chords.
- Vancouver Sun ( Marke Andrews)

. . . These compositions are outstanding for their vitality, exuberance, elegance and melodic strength, and for the joy these three fine musicians share in executing them. Atkinson is a daring and inventive acoustic guitarist and a powerful force in the new roots/jazz movement. - The Toronto Star

An eclectic mix from the mind and fingers of Marc Atkinson . . . The guitar sound is highly refreshing, the recording quality is second to none; and with the original compositions from Marc, obviously played from the heart with great skill, this CD is a delight to listen to. Anyone who is a fan of acoustic guitar music should definitely grab a copy of III. - The Hot Club UK

. . . he picks in the same kind of league as Chet Atkins and when it's ragtime, his style has all the seasoned patina of Stefan Grossman, Davey Graham or Duck Baker.

This is the third Marc Atkinson Trio album and while the first two showed him as someone with all the panache to hack it with the best, this lifts matters to out-of-the-ordinary not only for the polished sheen of the performance, but for the sheer quality of the original compositions (ten out of twelve).

If ever you needed any confirmation that France and Canada are joined at the hip, here it is. - Maverick Magazine - Scotland

Into the increasingly crowded field of Gypsy swing guitar players steps Marc Atkinson like a breath of fresh air after a night in a smoke-filled Parisian nightclub. Eschewing the blazing speed-demon approach adopted by many Djangophiles, Atkinson concentrates on sweet, clear, swinging music and rich acoustic guitar tones. A gifted arranger, he glides through tunes like "The Mooche" and "Caravan" with the grace of Gene Kelly and is backed by bass and rhythm guitar. The repertoire on this compelling CD ranges from clever original tunes such as "Dunamis" and "Manouche" to compositions by Duke Ellington, Nick Lucas, and even Chopin. - David McCarty - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

The music is a rich melange of many styles, including swing, folk, classical, and, in the case of “Morning Glory,” country and bluegrass . . . he aims for solos that are based on the songs melodic content rather than simply “running the chords.” - Ron Forbes-Roberts - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

The playing is flawless. - Marke Andrews - The Vancouver Sun

“The Mooche” is possibly the best small group performance ever ! - Ted Gottsegen
- Just Jazz Guitar

"solidly in the top ten of the world's working string trios" - Jurgen Goethe - CBC


The Marc Atkinson Trio IV - nominated for 2 Canadian Folk Awards and a Western Canadian Music Award
The Marc Atkinson Trio III PM13842 - nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award
The Marc Atkinson Trio II - PM10342 - nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award
The Marc Atkinson Trio - MAT 2000 06

Let Em Run (The Bills) Juno nominated- released June 2004
All Day Every Day (The Bills) Juno nominated/Winner of Western Canadian Music Award - BCD145
The Bill Hilly Band (The Bill Hilly Band) - BHB2000 06




The Marc Atkinson Trio is an acoustic guitar-driven group from the West Coast of Canada, made up of some of Canada's best JUNO nominated musicians. This virtuosic group’s success has been leaping forward over the past few years. Acoustic Guitar Magazine voted the Trio’s, The Marc Atkinson Trio II, one of the top 5 five CDs released in North America. The Trio was also nominated at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2003 and 2005 and 2009. The Trio released their much-awaited 4th CD, The Marc Atkinson Trio IV, in Summer 2008. It was nominated for two 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

The live performance of the Marc Atkinson Trio is melodically captivating, sensually charged and technically awe-inspiring. The Trio is an instrumental band warmly welcomed by folk, jazz and classical audiences alike. The group receives standing ovations everywhere from the North American Folk Alliance Conference, to DjangoFest NorthWest to the acclaimed Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. The Marc Atkinson Trio plays at many major festivals and concert halls across North America.

Marc Atkinson, a multi-instrumentalist/composer/arranger/producer, is one of Canada’s most talented musicians. His hummable original compositions, found on the self-titled CDs I and II and now III, take acoustic guitar to a refreshing new level. The tunes have a ferocious but elegant guitar style, infused with a catchy blend of influences ranging from folk to jazz to classical to world beat. All this while still maintaining the laidback humour and casual ‘good time feel’ of Canada’s West Coast. Atkinson’s picking has been described as flawless, surprise-filled and sizzling. His music is original, complex and challenging in its conception and delivery but remains accessible and absorbing. The music of the Marc Atkinson Trio good-naturedly welcomes all listeners aboard for an intriguing, exhilarating and unforgettable ride.

The Marc Atkinson Trio IV pushes the boundaries of this instrumental group even further than the first 3 CDs. It is a technically demanding and melodically inspiring 50 minutes of music. The CD includes 11 Marc Atkinson original compositions and one impressive rearrangements of Russian Rag. The compositions glide seamlessly from unusual beauty, to raucous rhythm, to swinging classics in the making. If you are a lover of the guitar, instrumental music or just music, you will love this new recording.

Marc Atkinson is backed by Joey Smith on bass and Michael Hamilton on rhythm guitar. Marc is also a founding member of a completely different band. The Bills play spirited and eclectic roots/folk music. Their last two CDs were nominated for JUNO awards, their second CD won the best folk/roots album at the Western Canadian Music Awards and they were voted Entertainers of the Year at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards. The Bills can be found on main stages of folk festivals across Canada, the US and Europe.

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Marc Atkinson News
- Fall 2009 - The Marc Atkinson Trio was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award
- Fall 2008 - The Marc Atkinson Trio was nominated for the Canadian Folk Awards in 2 categories.
- Summer 2008 - The Marc Atkinson Trio released their fourth CD, IV.
- Spring/Summer 2008 - The Trio performed at the renowned Festival des Guitares du Monde in Quebec, the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Hillside Folk Festival.
-2007 The Bills were won the Entertainer of the Year Award at the Western Canadian Music Awards.
-The Marc Atkinson Trio played to standing ovations at DjangoFest NorthWest in September 2005.
- The Marc Atkinson Trio was released June 17, 2005.
- The Marc Atkinson Trio II was listed in the top five albums of the year by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
- The Bills 3rd CD, Let Em Run, released on June 26, 2004, was nominated for a Juno Award.
- All Day Every Day (The Bills/The Bill Hilly Band) received the award for best folk/roots album of the year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.
- The Marc Atkinson Trio II was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award.
- All Day Every Day (The Bills/The Bill Hilly Band) was nominated for best folk/roots album at this year’s Juno Awards (The Canadian Grammies).
- Marc has had the busiest touring year yet with over 200 tour dates in the last year covering all of North America. (The Marc Atkinson Trio and the Bills combined).
- The Marc Atkinson Trio has proved to be a hit at Folk Festivals in North America.
- The Bills (Bill Hilly Band) won the best touring act of the year from the BC Touring Council.
- On the home front, Marc received 4 awards at the Monday Magazine M Awards. He took home trophies in the following categories. Best Album of the Year (The Marc Atkinson Trio II), Most Likely To Hit the Big Time, Best Performance of the Year (The Bills/The Bill Hilly Band), Favorite Band (The Bills/The Bill Hilly Band).
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