The short bio:
Mer Sal has contributed her vocal style to recordings and gigs with giants, working across diverse projects and genres. Mer Sal has notably released an album full of special guests ranging from Scott Henderson to Pedro Martins to Danny Carey, with Los Angeles jazz synth kingpin Scott Kinsey, called "Adjustments." Mer Sal recorded on "Native Dancer Series" for Wayne Shorter, by Vera's Heartbeat, toured with We Speak Luniwaz: The Music of Joe Zawinul, sung on ARC Trio's records with Jimmy Haslip and John Daversa Big Band, and sang several tracks on The Dream - by Karl Sterling. Performing live, Mer Sal is always supported by world class instrumentalists - for example, Scott Kinsey, Gergo Borlai, Hadrien Feraud, Jamie Kime, Gary Novak, Toshi Yanagi, Francisco Fattorusso, Charles Ruggiero, Travis Carlton, Jimmy Haslip, and several others! Her sets can be a mixture of authentic soul, funk, and blues, or original fusion music involving vocals, with some of the most relevant fusion artists today! Mer has been compared to other rising singers of the fusion, jazz, and blues scene, but what makes her unique is the line she walks so evenly between jazz fusion, midcentury American music, and 2000's R&B.


The long bio:

Mer Sal was born and raised in Colorado, USA, to two loving parents.  She grew up immersed in music and performance arts opportunities for children in her community, performing in theatrical musicals and choirs, receiving instruction in styles and techniques like classical, jazz, belting, and The Alexander Method.  She discovered popular/R&B singing and convinced a pop star to give her lessons.  As a teen, Mer attended Colorado State University to study the art of performance, but ultimately left to pursue singing professionally as a Junior, at the age of 20, with a project she formed.  At 21 she began playing the bass guitar, learning out of books, until she was proficient at sight reading and performing bass lines she could sing over. 

Before landing a singing career in Los Angeles, Mer Sal toured the western United States for nearly 8 years — singing while playing bass.  During her formative years, Mer worked alongside Danielle Nicole, Jason Ricci, Samantha Fish, Tommy Castro, Southern Avenue, The Boogie Boys, Vixen, Alvino Bennett, and many others. 

Through a series of recent (and fortuitous) introductions to top players and producers, Mer was invited to participate in The Native Dancer Series: A Tribute to Wayne Shorter and Karl Sterling’s Dream: Parkinson's Global Project. Both of these projects saw her performing along with many other top-shelf musicians, among them Jimmy Haslip, Peter Erskine, Gary Novak and Jeff Richman.

Mer Sal and jazz synth prodigy Scott Kinsey first crossed paths on one of these sessions and there was something of an instant connection between the two.

In 2020, Mer Sal began work on the album “Adjustments” with Kinsey.  The Tribal Tech keyboardist and the Denver blues singer released their album in 2021.  

The featured musicians on Adjustments are an A-list: 
Scott Kinsey, Gary Novak, Hadrien Feraud, Gergo Borlai, Pedro Martins, Danny Carey, Steve Tavaglione, Walt Fowler, Brad Dutz, Tim Lefebvre, Jimmy Haslip, Junior Braguinha, Scott Henderson, Oz Noy, Alex Machacek, Sumitra, Nir Felder, Josh Smith, Michael Janisch, and introducing Mer Sal, on vocals and a few bass tunes. 

Here is an excerpt from a review of the album “Adjustments”, by Mike Jacobs, talented music writer for All About Jazz: 

[…]“The fact that Adjustments displays some of Kinsey’s most innovative writing, playing and arranging to date may indeed owe to having Sal as talented muse, but it’s also the singer’s authenticity that effectively grounds Kinsey’s work like never before. Her original songs, such as the opening “Tiny Circles,” display a certain valiant fearlessness for a songwriter whose emotions run so palpably close to the surface.

The icing on the cake for Adjustments is undoubtedly how the proceedings are further raised by having so many of the sought-after, A-list musicians of Kinsey’s world (e.g., Scott Henderson, Oz Noy, Tim Lefebvre, Hadrien Feraud, Gergö Borlai and others) uncommonly colliding with Sal’s. This propels the music beyond today’s retrograde “jazz vocalist” albums that seek to rekindle nostalgia for the singer-fronted jazz band. Nor is it another in the recent stream of barely distinguishable, vocal-forward, jazz/neo-soul hybrids that proliferate in the modern soundscape.

In their own way, what Scott Kinsey and Mer Sal exhibit on Adjustments speaks to an intersection as uniquely compelling as when Jaco met Joni. A modern entity, to be heard on its own terms. And in light of the music that she and Scott have brought forth here, listeners will happily make their own Adjustments.”

-Mike Jacobs, All About Jazz 


Some footage of Danny Carey (Tool) recording drums (2020) at Tool's studio in Los Angeles, as part of the album "Adjustments" (2021).   


Work surrounding Wayne Shorter:

Scott Kinsey and Mer Sal were asked to perform on a birthday gift for Wayne Shorter, during the pandemic of 2020.  The songs are all in Portuguese by Brazilian artists mostly.  Wayne listened to all of them, while on dialysis from his home.  


Work for Laura Clery 

Mer Sal recorded a Gal Costa tune for  actress/comedian Laura Clery and ex-husband producer/musician Stephen Hilton -  "Baby"...recorded for the birth of their second child, Penelope.   Laura Clery sings on the choruses.