Dr. Alton Merrell is a world class pianist, Hammond B-3 organist, composer, and educator. He has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and parts of the Caribbean.
Merrell is a sought-after jazz pianist who has performed with legendary artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Roger Humphries, Sean Jones, Christian McBride, and Jeff “Tain” Watts.
Merrell is a composer of illustrious works in gospel jazz and regularly performs with local and nationally known Gospel/Christian artists such as Kim Burrell, Donnie McClurkin, David and Nicole Binion. He also has been featured several times on the nationally televised Bobby Jones Gospel Show. For his Kente engagement, he will perform with his own Jazz/Gospel group, IMPACT.
Merrell received his Ph.D. in Jazz Studies with a research focus on jazz piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh. His primary research focus was on The Life and Music of McCoy Tyner: An Examination of the Sociocultural Influences on McCoy Tyner and His Music.