Merit Hemmingson

(born 1940, in Gärdsta,Marby Socken, Jämtland, Sweden) is an organ player and composer. Hemmingson started to play the accordion at seven years old. Immediately after she finished school she moved to the capital, Stockholm, and dreamed of The Oscar Peterson's Jazz school in Toronto. Instead she was convinced by a manger to pick her own band from New York to tour in Sweden. She went to New York and also had the opportunity to sit in with Miles Davis on the famous jazz club Village Vanguard. She got lessons from both Joe Zawinul and Lalo Shifrin and it was only jazz for Hemmingson. In New York she founded her own group with herself on piano, Jean Davis – trumpet, Bert Etta Davis (Lady Bird) – alto saxophone, Eileen Chance – double bass, Bernadine Warren – drums - four black female musicians, which were for the time very rare. The band toured in Sweden for about six months under the name Merit and her Girl Stars. Hemmingson left the jazz scene when she came in contact with the Hammond organ B3. And she formed her group Meritones who started to record and tour. In the early 70s she recorded three albums with different interpretations of Swedish folk music and all three - Huvva, Trollskog och Bergtagen, Det for två vita duvor became Gold Records. This period was a very important time in her career. At the time, it was very new to reharmonise and make rhythmic interpretations of folk music which became her trade mark.  A period after this she went in different a direction in order to explore new music landscapes. Lately Hemmingson has gone back to her roots with the Hammond B3 organ again, and on one of her latest albums, which were released in 2011 – she plays folk music as well as her own compositions. Another new album is Stör de tom jag spelar lite på orgeln is dedicated to the Swedish jazz piano player Jan Johansson. All in all she has recorded about twenty records.
Selected recordings: Merit Hemmingson & the Meritones at the Esquire Club, Sonet, 1967; Merit Hemmingson plays / Organ, RCA 1968;; Balsam, EMI, 1975; Gästabud, EMI, 1979; Bellman lever M & Bengan Karlsson, Lekstugan, 1983; Interkontinental kompromiss M & Martin St. Hill & Celia Linde RCA 1987; Cornelis kvinnfolk M & Anita Strandell, Lady Bird, 1998 En plats i Skogen M & gästartister, Mariann, 2002; Touch, Bonnier Amigo, 2006; EQ, Amigo, 2011

Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.