From: PA, United States

Jazz, R&B/Soul, World

“When I was four or five years old I heard a woman’s voice singing on the radio.

I had no idea who it was. I do remember that the sound of her voice made me go

all funny inside. I also remember asking my mother, ‘Who’s that lady on the radio?

She sounds so sad.’ My mother said very quietly, ‘That’s Billie Holliday.’ It was

not until I was an adult that my mother would tell me the story of how, when I was

6 months old, she took me to a gig in Atlantic City my father, Jymie, had with Billie

Holliday and that Billie Holliday had held me in her arms for 20 minutes. I’d like

to think that during those 20 minutes something rubbed off.”

Mharlyn Merritt

Mharlyn Merritt is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Fellowship in Jazz Performance and an Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowship from the

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. With the band ‘Messenger’, led by

guitarist/composer Richard Lee Steacker, Mharlyn opened for Hugh Masakela,

Eddie Palmieri, and Richard Beltzer among others. During the disco-era her voice

graced the background of numerous sessions at Sigma Sound Studios in

Philadelphia where Mharlyn still lives and works.

Mharlyn can also be heard on the CD ALONE TOGETHER, a collaboration with her brother Michael Merritt, bassist with Conen O'Brien's Basic Cable Band.