Merl Saunders
A multi–genre, Hammond B–3 musician, Merl Saunders collaborated with Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King among others. He also led his own bands for over 40 years performing jazz, blues, rock, pop and R&B.
All about the Sons of Aunt Monk
Merl Saunders formed the Aunt Monk band in the 1970s to allow his son, Tony Saunders to develop his musical technique – to get him musically “up to speed”, releasing “You Can Leave Your Hat On” in 1976.
Originally, the name “AUNT MONK” was actually a nickname given to Saunders’ mother, Mrs. Lessie Talley by her sisters, Saunders’ aunts.

Michael Hinton

“He allowed us to develop our own musical voice; he was a great entertainer, an irresistible personality…”

A self–taught master musician, guitarist Michael Hinton thrives on the spontaneous energy and musical exchanges derived as a performing artist and he embraces the improvisational opportunities song writing provides. He “enjoys the musical journey’.

Hinton has performed and toured with a wide range of impressive artists including MERL SAUNDERS, NORTON BUFFALO and HUEY LEWIS. His tenure with Saunders included the recording of the soundtrack for the “Twilight Zone” television series.

“Gone but not forgotten…RIP Michael Hinton”

Larry Vann

“Merl always allowed us to ‘stretch out’, to explore…”

A professional performer since age 15, Vann draws from a deep well of musical influence, including gospel, blues, funk, jazz and soul. He has toured and recorded with a medley of celebrated artists, including MERL SAUNDERS, THE WHISPERS, ELVIN BISHOP, MARTHA REEVES, THE MARVALETTES, BUFFY SAINT-MARIE and many more.

His impressive career includes a motion picture role as a nightclub band member in the Academy Award nominated “Peggy Sue Got Married”.

Vann’s honors and awards include:
  • The Blues Society’s West Coast Hall of Fame, “Blues Drummer of the Year” award
  • The Jazz Institute’s “Man of the Year” award

Michael Warren

“We’ll bring a lot of love to the music; we’re proud to bring this back together…”

Although Warren considered himself one of the black hippies of the 60s and 70s, his roots run deep into Jazz, Funk and Motown groove. He has performed and toured with a great spectrum of dynamic artists including MERL SAUNDERS, BB KING, RANDY CRAWFORD, MARIA MULDAUR, BUDDY MILES, THE CRUSADERS, THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND and many others. The performance venues where he has displayed his talent range from The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, The House of Blues in Chicago, The Fillmore in San Francisco to Carnegie Hall in New York City.