Jose Luis Merlin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1952. He began playing the guitar at age of five under the tutelage of Maestro Vincente Degese, continued with Maestro Abel Carlenaro, and was performing in Argentina by the time he was nine years old. He has been a concert artist, composer and guitar teacher since 1967, as well as a researcher and teacher of instrumental technique.
Merlin has made more than twenty international tours which include: Spain, Austria, USA, Canada, Cuba, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, and Uruguay. He has given concerts in such renowned halls as the Centro Cultural de la Villa (Madrid), the United Nations (New York), the Meridian House (Washington, D.C.), the Museums of Art in Dallas and Detroit, the Teatro Juan Bravo (Segovia, Spain), the Teatro Nacional Cervantes (Buenos Aires), as well as on public radio and television in Ohio, Michigan, Oregon, California, Texas, and on the international channel of Deutsche Welle (Germany).
Merlin has played as a soloist with the Symphonies of Rosario and San Juan (Argentina), and has performed chamber music with the following quartets: Buenos Aires, Sudamérica, Sudamericano, Musicámera, del Plata, and the Grupo Merlin. He is co-founder and first president of the Association Integración Guitarrística Argentina. He has published over ten recordings in the USA, Japan, Austria, and Argentina.
As a composer he has given workshops on instrumental techniques, rhythmic folklore of Argentina, insights and analyses of South American composers, as well as lectures at universities in Texas, Southern California, Oregon, and Michigan. He composed the music for Travesia (The Guitar, Witness to Five Centuries), an oratorio for recitative, singing voice, mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra (texts by José Tcherkasky). Merlin has composed works for solo guitar, guitar and violin, guitar and string quartet, piano and voice, etc. He has arranged and adapted works by Beethoven, Scarlatti, Bach, and Piazzola, and has set to music the poetry of Nicandro Pereyra and Antonio Esteban Agüero.
More accomplishments defining Merlins extraordinary career include his founding the Centro de Estudios Musicales Merlin for the teaching of guitar, piano, singing, chorale singing, flute, saxophone, harmony, composition and percussion. He is currently the Director of the Music Department and a Guitar professor of the Mundo-Velázquez School of Music in Madrid, Spain.