Music freak from the day I was born. Started with accordeon at four and the piano at seven.
After school my plan was to attend Oscar Petersons jazz school in Toronto in the beginning of the sixties, but instead I went to New York to get a band together. I was digging jazz in the famous jazz club Birdland almost every night and even sat in with Miles Davis band at Village Vanguard. Got piano lessons from both Joe Zawinul and Lalo Shifrin. Formed a band in the US with four black female jazz musicians, altosax, trumpet, bass and drums and myself on the piano. We were touring in Sweden for six months, "Merit H. and her Girl Stars".
Left the jazz scene and found my real big "Love" the Hammond B3 organ and started the group Meritones, with which I made my first album in 1967.
In the beginning of the seventies Swedish folk music entered my life which resulted in three gold discs ”Huvva”, ”Trollskog” and "Bergtagen". At this time I also recorded a double album together with the great poet Beppe Wolgers. With two fiddlers and a rhythm section I toured all over Sweden with this quite new concept and had great success.
Later on exploring other musical fields also with synthesizers, playing with different artists, writing and co-writing songs. But in the last few years I´ve been attracted back to the roots and to the organ playing. A compilation album from the seventies ”Merit – Queen of Swedish Hammond Folk Groove” was released in 2005 and the album ”Touch” in 2006. Merit Hemmingson