Ian Maclean started playing guitar in the 1940s - his first influencesbeing Paul Robeson and Bing Crosby. His love of Latin American music dates from his time as a merchant seaman apprentice, listening to local radio stations as he travelled round the coast of South America. He listened to European jazz while doing his national service with the Royal Tank Regiment in Germany. Back in London, Ian joined his first band,playing skiffle and rock and roll in public, while privately favouring the romantic jazz of the day.
During the 1950s Ian toured with Tony Crombie's "Rockets" (with his mate Jet Harris on bass), and played a holiday camp season with his new wife and baby, Jane. For the next 40 years, while supporting a growing family as an engineer, he never stopped playing and singing. Ian lost his wife, Jeanne in 2006, and soon afterwards he met a guy in a pub who introduced him to Jack Jones' jazz workshop at BB's club in Forest Gate.