May 3, 1926 – April 10, 2020
Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Jymie Merritt grew up in good company, playing his first professional gigs with John Coltrane, Tadd Dameron, Benny Golson and Philly Joe Jones. Merritt is most known for his work with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers from 1957-1962. He also played with musicians such as blues guitarist B.B. King, trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lee Morgan, and led his band "The Forerunners" for several decades in his hometown of Philadelphia.