GREGOIRE MARET projects are
-TRIBUTE TO TOOTS THIELEMANS
-GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GREGOIRE
“Who is the greatest harmonica player in the world? Until recently, Toots Thielemans reigned as the most in-demand performer on the chromatic harp, but he announced his retirement in 2014. Let me introduce you to the new new champ: Grégoire Maret, son of a Harlem-born African-American mother and a Swiss jazz musician, and a genre-crossing harmonica hotshot. He has shared the stage with everyone from Sting to Herbie Hancock, but is increasingly finding a following for his own work as a bandleader.” (Ted Gioia, The Daily Beast)
Grégoire moved to New York City to study at the New School University's Jazz Department in New York City upon graduating from the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève. Today he is one of the most sought after harmonica players in the world: often compared to legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder, he has been asked to play with an incredible number of famous musicians including Youssn’Dour, Me' Shell Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn, George Benson, Cassandra Wilson, to name a few.
In 2003 he was the subject of Swiss filmmaker Frédéric Baillif's documentary Sideman, which won several awards. In 2005, Grégoire toured with the Pat Metheny Group, receiving a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for their album The Way Up. He also won the Jazz Journalists Association ‘Player of the Year Award’. After his Grammy win, Maret embarked on a two-year tour with the worldclass bassist Marcus Miller and subsequently joined Herbie Hancock’s band.
Following his time with Herbie Hancock, he co-led the jazz trio Gaïa with pianist Federico Gonzales Peña and drummer Gene Lake. He also recorded an album, Scenarios, with Andy Milne in 2007. In 2010, Grégoire Maret played at The Concert for the Rainforest with Elton John and Sting.
On March 13, 2012 Maret released his first album as a leader. The eponymous album features such notable guests as vocalist Cassandra Wilson, bassist Marcus Miller, guitarist Raul Midón, Mark Kibble and Alvin Chea of Take 6, and the legendary harmonica player Toots Thielemans.
Personnel include Grégoire Maret: harmonica, vocals; Federico G Pena: piano, taicho harp, percussion, vocals; James Genus: electric bass, vocals, acoustic bass; Clarence Penn: drums, vocals; Bashiri Johnson and Mino Cinelu: percussion; Brandon Ross: soprano acoustic guitar, 6-and-12 string acoustic guitar; Jean-Christophe Maillard: acoustic guitar, taicho harp; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums; Alfredo Mojica: percussion; Cassandra Wilson: vocals; Stephanie Decailet: violin; Johannes Rose: viola; Fabrice Loyal: cello; Marcus Miller: fretless bass; Janelle Gill, Adia Gill, Clyde Gill, Micai Gill: vocals; Toots Thielemans: harmonica; Robert Kubiszyn: acoustic bass; Krzysztof Herdzin: string arrangement; Gretchen Parlato: voice. Soumas Heritage School of Music Ensemble; Polish orchestra Sinfonia Viva.
Now booking for November:
BETWEEN A SMILE AND A TEAR - A TRIBUTE TO TOOTS THIELEMANS
Grégoire Maret - Harmonica
Kenny Werner - piano
Clarence Penn - drums
Bass - to be confirmed
Harmonica virtuoso GRÉGOIRE MARET pays tribute to his main inspiration, TOOTS THIELEMANS who passed away last year at the age of 94. With this project, Grégoire calls on pianist and long-time Toots collaborator, KENNY WERNER. The band also includes the great drummer CLARENCE PENN. The program will include songs written by or associated with Toots, including Bluesette, Midnight Sun, Theme from Midnight Cowboy, The Dolphin, I Do It For Your Love and What a Wonderful World. Out of respect for the musician Toots Thielemans, Gregoire Maret will play the music of Toots Thielemans in his own style.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GREGOIRE MARET
The Gospel According to Gregoire Maret is Gregoire’s new-style gospel project that was originally envisioned as the uplifting final movement of a suite addressing the chaos in our society today. Described as “electrifying, soulful, smooth and spiritual”, “The Gospel According to Gregoire Maret” utilizes a core ensemble of B3 organ, keyboards, electric bass, drums and a four-voice choir, and the music abounds with a sense of freedom. Maret’s compositions have strong melodies and chord changes, and his chosen ensemble explores a wide range of harmonic and sonic colors that run the gamut across the gospel and jazz spectrums. While the music has an obvious gospel feel, it steers clear of sacred texts, preaching and evangelizing. Finally, the extraordinary Christie Dashiell adds her stunning and authentic vocals to some of the songs in the set.