John Mackay wrote his first song at 3 years old, and began piano studies at age 6. He began his professional career at age 18, playing the Hammond B-3 organ in a number of venues, including television and radio. He studied composition and arranging throughout the 70's with various well-known teachers in Toronto, (where he grew up), but fundamentally considers himself a self-taught musician, through years of listening and playing experience. He has worked with some of Canada's finest jazz musicians, including Peter Appleyard, Don Thompson, Marty Morell, Michael Stewart and many others, while simultaneously working some commercial gigs with various artists, including Roger Whittaker and Jim Carey. John moved to the U.S. in the 80's and spent a couple of years gigging around New York, before settling in Boston for a number of years. While there, he worked with, amongst others, Cab Calloway and Leon Marion.