Merl Saunders Jr., the namesake of legendary keyboardist Merl Saunders, grew up in the heart of the Bay Area music scene with other well known ”music families” like the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
From his first tour with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, to subsequent gigs with Michael Jackson, Robert Cray, David Crosby, and Frank Zappa, Merl developed a unique ability to excel in the music business. As Director of Marketing and Artist Relations at Gibson Guitars, and as Senior Marketing Coordinator and Artist Relations with Dean Markley Strings, he led creative teams to produce successful campaigns and endorsements for many top GRAMMY winners.
Merl produced Gibson’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. Pulling together talent, Merl brought to the stage Country Joe and the Little Fish, Little Feat, Greg Kihn, Gregg Allman, Elvin Bishop, Hot Tuna, Moby Grape, and Bob Weir, as well as his dad, Merl Sr.
In July 2000, Merl was named Executive Director of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy. His mission was to help promote music and arts education.
In early 2013, Fenix Supper Club opened in San Rafael, CA and Merl was named Executive Director of Fenix Entertainment Group. Merl’s objective was to expand the Bay Area music scene by creating a state-of-the-art venue for live performances along with the technology to record and share music by streaming it to the world.