BIOGRAPHY

Bill McKay began his musical journey at the age of six, taking classical piano lessons and singing in a church choir as a boy soprano. In high school, he studied jazz theory and ear training, and sang in the choir and barbershop group, touring in England, Wales, and Amsterdam. Bill began playing rock and roll in bars and clubs at the age of 16 with various bands.

   •       Moving to Colorado in 1987 to attend Colorado College, Bill played with the band The Circle while studying world music ( including East Indian, African, and Native American music ). He also worked with the dance department, accompanying modern dance classes and composing a thesis around choreography and music. After graduating in 1991 with a political science degree, Bill moved to Boulder and began playing with Band Du Jour

  •      The Soul 'n Roll outfit Band Du Jour recorded and toured extensively from 1990-1995, including a two month DOD tour to South Korea, Japan, and Okinawa. Band Du Jour was a Colorado favorite, and shared the stage with many of the great bands of the early 90s, including The Aquarium Rescue Unit, Blues Traveler, The Samples, Phish, Big Head Todd.

  •      In 1995, Bill joined the Derek Trucks Band as lead singer and keyboardist. Living in Atlanta, he toured and recorded with Derek for 5 years, sharing the stage with greats such as Gregg Allman, Col. Bruce Hampton, Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule, Phil Lesh, and many others. 

  •     Returning to Colorado in 2000, Bill joined Leftover Salmon, recording, touring, and performing with them for the next 10 years. During this time, he also created his own band, Bill McKay Band, pursued many opportunities to play solo piano, and recorded and performed all over the musical map, with too many wonderful musicians to list here!

  •     Throughout his entire life and career, Bill and his brother John have recorded, toured, and performed as the McKay Brothers. This is a special and meaningful project that showcases the brilliant songwriting of John McKay, as well as Bill's originals and a vast assortment of blues, folk and country music.

  •      These days, in addition to Bill McKay Band, McKay Brothers, and multiple freelance projects, Bill plays solo piano, and regular gigs with the True Blue Band and Brother's Keeper. Proud to be a part of the Colorado music scene for 30 years, Bill McKay keeps moving forward in his pursuit of musical adventure!

  •      Having played with Chris Thompson's killer jamgrass band Coral Creek, Bill toured around the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands for 6 years. Recording on the albums "Coral Creek' and "Free Dog", adding original material, and working with producer Tim Carbone, Bill will continue to occasionally join forces with these great players.

  • As of 2021, Bill plays with Steely Dead - a fusion of Steely Dan and Grateful Dead music, as well as the Very Jerry Band, focusing on the music of the Jerry Garcia Band and associated projects. These bands are run by Dave Hebert, Bill's good friend, and are a joy and challenge to pursue. 

  • Bill plays occasional gigs with The Other Brothers, an all star lineup of phenomenal Colorado musicians playing the music of the Allman Brothers. This is a large powerhouse of a band, and the music is very close to Bill's heart, having been so closely affiliated with it in his career. Taking on Greg Allman's role in this band is an honor and a blessing, and the band plays as much as the members busy schedules will allow.

  • Bill is currently the house piano player and musical director at El Rancho Brewing Company near Evergreen Colorado. A legendary lodge and restaurant, El Rancho has undergone a beautiful renovation, with an outdoor stage in a lovely beer garden. Bill plays piano in the dining room most Friday and Saturday evenings, and the venue hosts live music from solo acoustic acts to full bands, including national touring acts, outside or in the large and cozy Aspen Room.