Bio Merit HemmingsonBorn in a small farmers village up north. Music freak from the day I was born.
Started with accordeon at four and the piano at seven.
I was playing all the time during my school period and got more and more into jazz.
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 I explored other musical fields also with synthesizers, playing with different artists, writing and co-writing songs.
But after that I was 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.
With my move to Gotland, I got a new wonderful music life.
My album ”EQ”, released in 2011, produced by Tobias Fröberg, was principally based on my own material and Swedish folk songs. Recorded in Sandkvie studio in Visby, the old Hanseatic town in the island of Gotland, where I also live today.
While I was working on the tribute album to the late pianoplayer Jan Johansson, I got the Jan Johansson award. ”Hommage till Jan”, recorded and produced by Tobias Fröberg, was then released in 2014.
Tours with drummer Ola Hultgren.
Received ”The Honour Prize” of the Year” in the Folk & World Music Gala 2016.
My new album ”MERIT” is the first album with only my own material. Produced by Tobias Fröberg together with Ola Hultgren and myself. Release October 2016. This is the third album together with Tobias. The two former ones were both Grammy-nominated.