John McLaughlin aka Mahavishnu John Mclaughlin is an English guitarist and composer whose style of music includes jazz and rock. His interest in Indian classical music has led him to become a pioneer in fusion music.
Born on 4 January 1942 in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, he was ranked 49th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” in 2003.
His debut album along with Tony Oxley and Johon Surman was called “Extrapolation” and was released in 1969. He then moved to America where he played first with Lifetime and then with Miles Davis. In the 1970s he had an electric band called the Mahavishnu Orchestra and they performed electric jazz with Indian influences. Later in the 70s, he played with Shakti, a fusion band that combined jazz and Indian classical music.
The 80s saw him work with bands like One Truth Band and Fuse One. In 1986 he composed the Mediterranean Concerto. The 80s ended with him performing with Trilok Gurtu, Jeff Berlin, then Kai Eckhardt and finally Dominique DiPiazza. While he has been active in the next two decades, his music was most influential in the 70s and 80s.
John was married to Katia Labeque, the French pianist whom he had worked with in the early 1980s. He then married Ina Behrend.