John McLaughlin (born 4 January, 1942 in Doncaster), also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English jazz fusion guitarist and composer. He played with Tony Williams's group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his landmark electric jazz-fusion albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. His 1970s electric band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused eclectic jazz and rock with eastern and Indian influences. His guitar playing includes a range of styles and genres, including jazz, Indian classical music, fusion, and Western Classical music, and has influenced many other guitarists. He has also incorporated Flamenco music in some of his acoustic recordings. The Indian Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain refers to John McLaughlin as being "one of the greatest and most important musicians of our times". In 2003, McLaughlin was ranked 49th in Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" 
From a family of musicians (his mother being a concert violinist), McLaughlin studied violin and piano as a child, but took up the guitar at the age of 11, exploring styles from flamenco to the jazz of Stephane Grappelli. McLaughlin moved to London from Yorkshire in order to involve himself in the thriving music scene in the early 1960s, starting with outfits such as the Marzipan Twisters before moving on to Georgie Fame's backing band, the Brian Auger band, and importantly, the Graham Bond Quartet in 1963. During the 1960s he often had to support himself with session work, which he often found unedifying, but which radically enhanced his playing and sight-reading skills.
Before moving to the U.S., McLaughlin recorded Extrapolation (with Tony Oxley and John Surman) in 1969, in which he showed technical virtuosity, inventiveness and the ability to play in odd meters. He moved to the U.S. in 1969 to join Tony Williams's group Lifetime. He subsequently played with Miles Davis on his landmark albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew (which has a track named after him), On The Corner, Big Fun (where he is featured soloist on Go Ahead John) and A Tribute to Jack Johnson â€” Davis paid tribute to him in the liner notes to Jack Johnson, calling McLaughlin's playing "far in." McLaughlin returned to the Davis band for one recorded night of a week-long club date, which was released as part of the album Live-Evil and as part of the Cellar Door boxed set.