Hal Merrill



Hal Merrill



Hal Merrill specializes in taking an over-categorized musical instrument, the pedal steel guitar, into the progressive jazz realm, and continues composing and recording projects in this area.  Hal has been performing in jazz venues in the Seattle area for the last 30 years.  He has studied in the music departments of several major universities and continues to develop his quest to develop and apply the jazz language to his instrument.  His latest CD recording, "Story", is a compilation of all original material, with each song in a slightly different style and texture.  It features some of the most accomplished musicians on the scene today. Hal's current group is a quartet featuring Hal on pedal steel guitar, David Deacon-Joyner on piano, Steve Bartlett on bass and Craig Cootsona on percussion.


To listen, click on songs in the Grey Box to the right, or

Listen to Hal Merrill on CD Baby 



Here are a few videos:

Hal Merrill Playing Solo Feb 21, 2019

Hal Merrill at CD Release Party Nov 27, 2018

Pent Up House




New CD "Story", featuring all original material, with David Deacon-Joyner on piano, Steve Bartlett on bass and Craig Cootsona on percussion.

"A Long Last Look" with Bruce Barnard on guitar, Steve Marx on bass, and Bob Merrihew on percussion.

"Cloudy Mornings, Sunny Afternoons" With Gregg Robinson on piano, Marty Hasegawa on bass, Mark Filler on percussion, and Mike Peterson on percussion.

"Recipes From Another World" with Randy Halberstadt on piano, Phil Sparks on bass, Larry Jones on percussion, and Hans Teuber on alto sax.










- Performance at 2019 Southwestern Steel Guitar Association 16th annual convention. Highly acclaimed as an innovator

  on the pedal steel guitar.

- CD Release Party at Well 80 in Olympia, WA. November 2018.  Very well received and appreciated.

- Performance at Yelm City Parks July 2018.  

- Numerous performances at Ben Moore's in Olympia, WA.

- Performances at Tula's Jazz Club in Seattle, WA

- Regular performances at Stone Way Café in Seattle, WA, starting in 2015.

- Regular performances at Uncle Sam's in Spanaway, WA


- This artist, Hal Merrill, is taking the steel guitar in an entirely new direction - Matt Rosenberg, The Seattle Times


- Great compositions, great arrangements, and great sound (regarding "Story")!  - Susan Gatschet, KUVO, Denver CO

- Hal Merrill’s new cd “Story” is a keeper. It’s all original music which gives you a wonderful insight into Hal’s musical life. His writing is very interesting and his arranging is great. Both help to bring you the listener into “Story”. This is what I would call a impressionistic album. I think that came from the great pianist Bill Evans.

Hal’s chord work is full of nice fat voicings. And are used very well to drive the tunes forward. Also I liked the usage of all of the instruments not just as solos but well incorporated in the melodies too.

The impressionism really sets in in the last two tunes. Both are beautiful and take your mind to another place.

     - Jim Stahlhut, producer, composer, bandleader and jazz guitarist, Denver, CO


For bookings, contact Hal Merrill at 206-898-7141 or at hal@halmerrill.com