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.
Grégoire 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 about to release his solo album titled WANTED. Co-produced by Gregoire & Terri Lyne Carrington, WANTED is a natural follow up to his first CD. With WANTED, Gregoire embarks on a journey that brings him back to his youth, where he began to appreciate and develop his love of listening and discovering music. Performing on WANTED in addition to Terri Lyne Carrington, are Dianne Reeves, Ivan Lins, Chris Potter, Luciana Souza and the last recording of the legendary singer Jimmy Scott.
This is Grégoire’s Second appearance at the Litchfield Jazz Festival. He will be joined by his Quartet which consists of James Francies on piano, Burniss Earl Travis on bass, and Kendrick Scott on drums.