Photo by: Steven Sussman
Photo by: Ingrid Hertfelder
Grégoire Maret was born in 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland and began playing the Harmonica at age 17. His childhood was filled with a diverse array of musical influences from his Harlem born, African-American mother and his Swiss father, a local jazz musician.
Upon graduating from the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève, Grégoire made the critical decision to move to New York City to pursue jazz studies at the New School University. Over time he has honed his craft and is now one of the most in-demand harmonica players in the world. Often compared with Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder, Maret has been sought out by many outstanding musicians, among them Youssn’Dour, Me' Shell, Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn, George Benson, and Cassandra Wilson.
In 2005, Grégoire joined the Pat Metheny Group with whom he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. He also garnered the Jazz Journalists Association Player of the Year Award. After his Grammy win, Maret embarked on a two-year tour with bassist Marcus Miller and then joined Herbie Hancock’s band. To mark his success, Maret was invited by Suzuki Harmonica to assist in creating his own Grégoire Maret G-48 and G-48W Signature Chromatic Harmonica series.
Maret continues to record and tour with notable musicians and co-leads the trio Gaïa, with pianist Federico Gonzales Peña and drummer Gene Lake. In 2010, he performed at The Concert for the Rainforest with Elton John and Sting. He has recorded a duo album with Andy Milne entitled Scenarios and is currently working on his first solo album.
This is Grégoire's first appearance at the Litchfield Jazz Festival. He will be joined by his Quartet which consists of Federico Pena on piano, James Genus on bass, and Clarence Penn on drums.