John Kay was born in East Prussia (then part of Germany) at the end of World War II. Trapped behind the iron curtain his first distinct memory is a daring nighttime escape with his mother to West Germany. While growing up in Hanover, John was profoundly affected by the American rock 'n' roll he heard on U.S. Armed Forces Radio. Though he didn't speak English at the time, the music's primal energy touched something deep in him, instilling both a driving ideal of personal freedom and an abiding interest in American culture. In 1958 he immigrated to Canada and continued his love affair with music, performing as a folk and blues singer throughout North America before joining the rock band The Sparrows which became part of the scene happening in Toronto’s Yorkville, later, San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury and finally LA’s Sunset Strip. There in 1967 Kay formed Steppenwolf, which quickly became one of the world’s foremost rock n’ roll bands releasing such standards as "Born to Be Wild," "Magic Carpet Ride” “Monster”, which today stand amongst Rock's most indelible anthems.
Supported by an intensely loyal following, John Kay and Steppenwolf continued to record and tour internationally until 2007 which marked the band's 40th anniversary and also their last year of intensive touring. Although John Kay still plays a limited number of concerts with the band each year, he does this primarily in order to continue the funding of the Maue Kay Foundation which he and his wife Jutta created in 2004. After becoming increasingly occupied with their foundation's work, they sold their Music Business related assets in 2010 and have devoted their time and energy to the foundation's mission and projects ever since.
For more information on the history and music of John Kay & Steppenwolf
please visit: www.steppenwolf.com
Jutta Maue-Kay was born in Hamburg Germany at the end of World War II. During her teenage years she became increasingly fond of American exports particularly Rock n Roll, which she not only heard on the radio but saw performed by the likes of Little Richard, Ray Charles and the Beatles at Hamburg’s Star Club. Music was also one of the reasons she chose to work in the coffee houses and clubs of Toronto Canada, after immigrating there, at age 18, in 1962. One evening in October 1965 she watched a performance by Canadian band “The Sparrows” and thereafter met the band’s lead singer John Kay. That meeting marked the beginning of a relationship, and later marriage, which has become a lifelong partnership. After joining her soon to be husband in Los Angeles in 1967, Jutta became one of the instigators of the formation of John’s new band named STEPPENWOLF which – due to the success of such classics as “Born To Be Wild” etc. - went on to become one of the iconic bands of the 60’s and beyond. While raising daughter Shawn, born in 1968, Jutta became drawn to martial arts, eventually earning her black belt in Shotokan Karate in the early 1980’s, a time during which she also became administrator and co-owner of Steppenwolf’s various businesses. In the ensuing years, particularly after Steppenwolf’s cottage industry moved to Nashville, TN in 1989, Jutta was increasingly drawn to human rights activism on behalf of Amnesty International and other NGOs
It is one of the reasons why she and her husband John Kay formed the Maue Kay Foundation (MKF) which is primarily focused on the protection of wildlife, the environment and human rights. An accomplished photographer with a keen eye, she often documents the foundation’s projects and activities with her instructive and compelling images. In 2014 Jutta joined the Board of Directors of "Orangutan Foundation International" an NGO that MKF has supported for several years. Visit Jutta's Flickr Page
Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas (Ape Angel) & Jutta Maue-Kay