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Stephen & Mary Merriman,  Merrimans' Playhouse Jazz Performance Series







Mary Merriman (Andrzejewski) on double bass

Merrimans' Playhouse Jazz Concert Series

One of the objectives is to bring professional jazz artists to downtown South Bend, and provide an affordable venue for people to experience the art of jazz. The venue also nurtures local jazz talent. Merrimans' Playhouse is determined to create an environment for the art of making jazz music. Merrimans' Playhouse could also be called "a place for the music of the freedom of expression" (Duke Ellington). The jazz artist must be given the freedom to create. The active listener must be given the benefit of the doubt that they will want to experience what is being created. The art of jazz making can be very entertaining, but entertainment is not the art of jazz making. Letting mass appeal determine the artists' value is like putting the cart before the horse, or in this case, putting the Art before the Source. A receptive environment and audience allows the artist the freedom to create.

Another goal of Merrimans' Playhouse is to offer a venue which breaks down as many barriers as possible in our community (age, culture, socioeconomics, gender, etc.). It is located downtown, in a neutral zone, welcome to all. Merrimans' Playhouse offers the opportunity for this particular form of expression to be woven into the fabric of our society, for anyone who chooses to experience it.

Merrimans' Playhouse is founded by Stephen and Mary Merriman. They form The Merrimans: Stephen on drums, and Mary on the double bass. Each performance they feature guest artists to create a unique ensemble. The Merrimans offer an opportunity for an intimate improvisational dialog between the artists. Jazz is an aural art; each moment is a new creation. Some favorite composers of The Merrimans include Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Theolonius Monk, Cole Porter, John Coltrane, and Horace Silver.

"... in an absolute sense, jazz is more a certain process - a spontaneity - than a syle." - Bill Evans

The Observer online (ND)

March 9. 2007
Section: Scene

Merrimans' Playhouse invites new audiences

-- Michelle Fordice

Hidden in the back corner of South Bend's Century Center is an event that most Notre Dame and Saint Mary's students are unfortunately missing. Once a month, the Merrimans' Playhouse Jazz Performance Series exhibits jazz talent from around the area in a setting welcoming to both enthusiasts and first time listeners. The Merriman Trio features a new musician to fill their third spot for each show, which both allows long time listeners to hear something new and lets those less familiar with the genre experience the essentials of jazz music. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

Current Bio The Merrimans

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Merrimans' Complete Piano Service
Carmen Piasecki, Attorney
Bill Lamie, Architecture Design Group, Inc.

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SPECIAL THANKS to the following people who help MERRIMANS' PLAYHOUSE exist:

Legal Consultant Carmen Piasecki
Architecture Consultant Bill Lamie with ADG, Inc.
Business Consultant Robert Easley
Website Consultant
Brian Proffitt

Photography David S. Hachen Jr. (majority of photos used in this website are by David)
Ticket Sales Mary Beth Dickey, Marian Emery

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