Merl Saunders

Merl Saunders

Born in San Mateo, California, Saunders attended Polytechnic High School. In his first bands that played in San Francisco during high school was singer Johnny Mathis. He served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1957. He worked as musical director of the Billy Williams Revue and served in a similar capacity in Oscar Brown Jr.'s off-Broadway show, Big Time Buck White.

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.[1] He sat... more