Mercer Lee - Band Leader, Keyboardist
Mercer Wellington Lee was born in Washington, D.C.,and raised around the world as a military brat. He began playing music as a young child in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.His father bought him a tenor saxophone and Mangus organ at the tender age of twelve and the rest, as theysay, is history.
Mercer played in an Oklahoma elementary school band, but that wasn't enough. In his teens, Mercer formed a band, Lunar Funk, who performed regularly at the local recreation centers. Due to a mispronunciation of the name, it became La Funk, and stayed that way. The band soon became popular at teen dances, performing the top songs of the time.
After high school, Mercer recruited female and male vocalists, a horn section (by now, Mercer played keyboards full-time) and dancers to complete his group. Mercer met keyboardist Edward Putman of Putman and the Merrimacs. Ed Putman was a protégé of Errol Garner (internationally known for his song “Misty”). Mercer became a protégé of Ed Putman.
Taking the knowledge Ed Putman gave him, Mercer put together the group known as Wellington and Company. Wellington & Company was a group of up to fifteen musicians, dancers, and entertainers under Mercer's direction which span a period of over fifteen years.
Mercer has written many scores for plays written and directed by Bernadine Francis Lee-Dickerson, such as Gran’ Ma, Wake Me When The Rooster Crow, and When Caterpillars Fly. Wellington & Company performed background music for poetry readings from inspirational books written by Helen Francis Lee, Looking Toward Sky, and Get Outta The Rut.
Mercer is currently working with fellow musicians and vocalists Theresa Havard, Maretta Brooks, and David Marq. He is also working with two outstanding producers, Gary Strausbaugh in Phoenix, AZ and Ray Disney of Sonority Records in Millville, DE.