Merl Saunders

Merle SaundersMerl Saunders Trio
Merl Saunders (February 14, 1934 – October 24, 2008) was an American multi-genre musician who played piano and keyboards, favoring the Hammond B-3 console organ.wikipedia
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Jerry Garcia

GarciaJerryJ. Garcia
He gained notice in the 1970s when he began collaborating with Jerry Garcia, with whom he had begun playing in 1971 at a small Fillmore Street nightclub called The Matrix. In 1990 he released the world music and New Age classic album Blues From the Rainforest, a collaboration with Jerry Garcia and Muruga Booker.
Garcia also founded and participated in a variety of side projects, including the Saunders–Garcia Band (with longtime friend Merl Saunders), the Jerry Garcia Band, Old & In the Way, the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, Legion of Mary, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage (which Garcia co-founded with John Dawson and David Nelson).

Well-Matched: The Best of Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia

Saunders/Garcia Band
He sat in with the Grateful Dead, and co-founded the Saunders/Garcia Band which produced three albums, and which became the Legion of Mary with the addition of Martin Fierro (sax) in 1974.
Well-Matched: The Best of Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia is a retrospective album by Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia.

Johnny Mathis

Johnnie MathisMathispop crooner
In his first band in high school was singer Johnny Mathis.
The first band he sang with was formed by his high school friend Merl Saunders.

Legion of Mary (band)

Legion of Mary
He sat in with the Grateful Dead, and co-founded the Saunders/Garcia Band which produced three albums, and which became the Legion of Mary with the addition of Martin Fierro (sax) in 1974.
Legion of Mary was an American rock band, formed by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and his friend and musical collaborator Merl Saunders.

Gaylord Birch

Gaylord "Flash" Birch
It disbanded the following year, but he and Garcia continued to collaborate in the band Reconstruction during 1979, collaborating with Ed Neumeister (trombone), Gaylord Birch (drums) and John Kahn (bass).
In 1979, he joined Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia in Reconstruction, a band which also included Ed Neumeister (trombone), Ron Stallings (tenor sax & vocals) and John Kahn (bass).

Rainforest Band

The Rainforest Band
Saunders continued to perform with the Rainforest Band for the next ten years.
The Rainforest Band began in 1990 with the Grammy-nominated album Blues From the Rainforest, a collaboration between jazz keyboardist Merl Saunders, percussionist Muruga Booker, and Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, with Shakti Booker (vocals), Eddie Moore (percussion), Melvin Seals (sound effects) and Bill Thompson (drum & sampled sound midi-technician).

San Francisco Polytechnic High School

Polytechnic High SchoolPolyPolytechnic
Born in San Mateo, California, Saunders attended Polytechnic High School in San Francisco.

Tom Fogerty

TomSpider Webb and the InsectsTom Fogerty discography
He led his own band as Merl Saunders and Friends, playing live dates with Garcia, as well as Mike Bloomfield, David Grisman, Michael Hinton, Tom Fogerty, Vassar Clements, Kenneth Nash, John Kahn and Sheila E..
On the follow-up, Excalibur, Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders played on the sessions.

Muruga Booker

Maruga BookerMusartSteve Booker
In 1990 he released the world music and New Age classic album Blues From the Rainforest, a collaboration with Jerry Garcia and Muruga Booker.
In 1990 he met Merl Saunders and they formed Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band and recorded with Jerry Garcia, on the album Blues From the Rainforest.

Reconstruction (band)

Reconstruction
It disbanded the following year, but he and Garcia continued to collaborate in the band Reconstruction during 1979, collaborating with Ed Neumeister (trombone), Gaylord Birch (drums) and John Kahn (bass).

Paul Pena

PenaPaul "Earthquake" Pena
Saunders worked with musicians Paul Pena, Bonnie Raitt, Phish, Widespread Panic, Miles Davis, and B. B. King.
He opened for Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at the Keystone in Berkeley and other area clubs many times over the course of the next three years.

Galaxy Records

GalaxyFantasy/Galaxy
He had his own record label, Sumertone Records (named for his children Susan, Merl Jr., and Tony), and had also recorded on Fantasy Records, Galaxy Records and Relix Records as well as the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia labels.

Tony Saunders (bassist)

Tony Saunders
He was survived by his two sons, Tony Saunders (bassist) and Merl Saunders Jr. (a former senior executive director of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), and his daughter Susan Mora.
His world famous keyboardist father, Merl Saunders, got him started at an early age.

The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series)

The Twilight ZoneThe New Twilight ZoneTwilight Zone
He worked with the Grateful Dead on the theme music for the 1985 TV show The New Twilight Zone.
New theme music was composed and performed by Grateful Dead with Merl Saunders, interpolating elements of the classic theme to the original Twilight Zone by Marius Constant (used in seasons 2–5).

John Kahn

It disbanded the following year, but he and Garcia continued to collaborate in the band Reconstruction during 1979, collaborating with Ed Neumeister (trombone), Gaylord Birch (drums) and John Kahn (bass). He led his own band as Merl Saunders and Friends, playing live dates with Garcia, as well as Mike Bloomfield, David Grisman, Michael Hinton, Tom Fogerty, Vassar Clements, Kenneth Nash, John Kahn and Sheila E..
From 1970 to 1975, Kahn played in the Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia Band and was an integral part of later iterations of the Garcia/Saunders collaboration, including Legion of Mary (1974–1975) and Reconstruction (1978–1979); the latter group was initially intended to serve as a musical outlet for Kahn during Garcia's tours with the Grateful Dead.

Mike Hinton

Michael Hinton
He led his own band as Merl Saunders and Friends, playing live dates with Garcia, as well as Mike Bloomfield, David Grisman, Michael Hinton, Tom Fogerty, Vassar Clements, Kenneth Nash, John Kahn and Sheila E..
During his career, he played with numerous bands, including Norton Buffalo and the Knockouts, High Noon, Merl Saunders & the Rainforest Band, to name a few.

Bill Vitt

In the 1970s he played with Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, and the Sons of Champlin.

The Dinosaurs

He also recorded with the Dinosaurs, a "supergroup" of first-generation Bay Area rock musicians.
The core group consisted of Peter Albin of Big Brother and the Holding Company, John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane, Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead, Barry Melton of Country Joe and the Fish and keyboardist Merl Saunders from the Saunders-Garcia Band.

Live at Keystone

Live at Keystone is an album by Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, and Bill Vitt.

Keystone Encores

Keystone Encores Volume I
Keystone Encores is an album by Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, and Bill Vitt.

Martin Fierro (saxophonist)

Martin FierroMartín Fierro
He sat in with the Grateful Dead, and co-founded the Saunders/Garcia Band which produced three albums, and which became the Legion of Mary with the addition of Martin Fierro (sax) in 1974.

Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings

Keystone Companions
Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings is a four-CD album by Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia.

Fire Up Plus

Heavy Turbulence
Fire Up Plus features Merl Saunders on keyboards and vocals, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead on guitar and vocals, Tom Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival on guitar, John Kahn on bass, and Bill Vitt on drums.

Pure Jerry: Keystone Berkeley, September 1, 1974

Pure Jerry: Keystone Berkeley features Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals, Merl Saunders on keyboards and vocals, Martin Fierro on saxophone and flute, John Kahn on bass, and Paul Humphrey on drums.

Garcia Live Volume Three

Garcia Live Volume Three is a three-CD album by Legion of Mary, a band led by Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders.