Grammy winner, Swiss born harmonica player and composer, Grégoire Maret moved to New York City at 18 years old to study at the New School University. Over the course of the past decade, Grégoire has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. That his chosen instrument – the harmonica – is a relative rarity in the genre is one element in his singular sound, but far from the whole explanation. After all, the extensive list of heavy- hitters who have enlisted him for their own projects is unparalleled: Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Marcus Miller are some of his most prominent employers, none of whom have the patience to employ novelty for novelty’s sake.
His guest appearances on recording sessions and concert stages expand that list to even more jaw-dropping proportions: Prince, Sting, Elton John, Jimmy Scott, Dianne Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Charlie Hunter, Youssn’Dour, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn and George Benson have all made use of Maret’s unmatched palette of color.
Along the way, Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. Cassandra Wilson said “I am a witness to this: wherever Gregoire Maret stands, whenever he lifts his instrument to his lips, the room and all its inhabitants are immediately transformed, we are transported with a sweet yet powerful intensity to a higher plane.” Marcus Miller has declared that he is “carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity while Herbie Hancock has called Maret “one of the most creative musicians around.”
Tune in to our YouTube
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tomorrow at 7 PM and join us for this week’s DC JazzFest From Home Series, co-sponsored the Embassy of Switzerland, as we relive this captivating set we captured Grégoire’s performance from the 2018 DC JazzFest at The Wharf.
This episode was made possible by the Embassy of Switzerland in the United States of America.
Sat. May 16, 2020 – 7:00 PM EST
DCJazzFest From Home Series