Bill MacKay is a highly-regarded guitarist-composer-improviser based in Chicago. He has energized experimental folk, rock, and avant-garde scenes with his radiant songwriting, and creative and unpredictable approach to the guitar. He is also a writer, emerging polyglot, activist and visual artist. He has been recording & releasing records, and contributing to those of other musicians, since 2004. MacKay currently appears as a solo artist, with Darts & Arrows, and in current and ongoing collaborations with partners including Katinka Kleijn (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) Rob Frye (Bitchin’ Bajas), Sam Wagster (Cairo Gang), LeRoy Bach (Wilco, Five Style), Frank Rosaly (Health & Beauty), Renée Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang (The Blue Lights), Marvin Tate, Ryley Walker, Angela James, and Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc). His records have received praise in reviews by the Chicago Reader, Mojo, The Ear, Uncut, Downbeat, and New City among other publications. In 2014, he was composer-in-residence at Ragdale Foundation, and awarded an Individual Artist grant by the Illinois Arts Council (IAC). He has performed with Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra (Creative Music Summit – Sunyata: Towards Absolute Emptiness) at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) , produced work on the soundtrack of the film Crying Earth Rise Up (Prairie Dust Films), and took part in Toby Summerfield’s Never Enough Hope recording & record release concert. MacKay grew up in Pittsburgh and lived in several cities east and west before settling in Chicago in 1998.

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