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Grégoire Maret

The Swiss Music Grand Prix 2017, one of the fifteen laureates of the Swiss Music Prize among which are the Genevois Grégoire Maret.

There is a balance that must be struck when one is an expert at something. There is the pressure to share your gifts at the whim of others, which requires the ability to bend to their demands. Then there is the need to express one’s own substance with the talent that has been honed.
On his new recording and his second as a leader, Wanted, the exceptional chromatic harmonica player Grégoire Maret once again finds himself moving away from his complementary duties as a sideman, and focusing on his role as a leader with his own musical vision. Naturally, Maret finds collaborating an important part of developing as an artist, but he is especially aware of the pressures imposed by the needs of others, and the necessity of removing these outside influences in order to get to one’s core identity.

“Grégoire Maret Takes the Harmonica Into a World It’s Never Been Before”
– Dan Ouellette,

“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.”

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 Maret honed his craft, becoming one of the most sought after Harmonica players in the world. He has developed his own unique sound and his versatile style enables him to play effortlessly across different musical genres. He is often compared to legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder and has been sought out to play with an incredible number of famous musicians including Youssn’Dour, Me' Shell Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn, George Benson, Cassandra Wilson...
In 2005, Grégoire toured with the Pat Metheny Group, receiving a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. 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.
After spending years on the road and consistently meeting with success, Maret was asked by his sponsor, Suzuki Harmonica to assist in creating his own Grégoire Maret G-48 and G-48W Signature Chromatic Harmonica series. He provided critical advice on the materials used as well as other intricate aspects, thus contributing to the production of high quality instruments of which all participants are proud of today.
Maret continues to record and tour with notable musicians and co-leads the trio Gaïa, with pianist Federico Gonzales Peña and drummer Gene Lake. Most recently, in May 2010, Grégoire Maret played at The Concert for the Rainforest with Elton John and Sting.
Furthermore Grégoire has recorded a duo album with Andy Milne entitled Scenarios and he is currently working on his first solo album Gregoire is an amazing player. His scope is broad and he's fearless. There's no one else out
there that comes close on the harmonica and he rivals the best on any instrument. He's one of the most creative musicians around.
Herbie Hancock

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.
Cassandra Wilson

Gregoire Maret possesses the most original voice on harmonica since Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder. He is carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity.
Marcus Miller

Gregoire Maret is an exceptional young musician who is taking the harmonica to an exciting new place in jazz. he has the special communicative spirit that is rare and absolutely essential to jazz itself, and yet within that spectrum he is able to find a timeless quality that speaks to any kind of listener and attracts just about every kind of musician to his playing. in his relatively short career, Grégoire has already found a place for himself in situations that certainly would have been unlikely spots for a harmonica player. it is his presence, his grace and skill as a performer and the humanity that excudes from his performances that has made him a unique new musician on the scene. he is an incredible asset to the community, offering all of us new ensemble possibilities and chances to explore his
instrument through the focus of his incredible talents.
Pat Metheny

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  • 2015 - 2016 - 2017

  • Musicians
    Grégoire Maret • Harmonica
    Jean Baylor • Vocals
    Kokayi • Guest Rap
    Schedrick Mitchell • Organ B3 & piano
    John Davis or Charles Hayes • Drums
    James Big Yuki Keys • Bass Keys

    On Tour

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    Past Shows and Events
    Montreux Jazz Festival - Switzerland

    Sting & Elton John - Rainforest Benefit Concert - Carnegie Hall - NYC - EUA

    World Tour Herbie Hancock

    Orchestra House with Marcus Miller & Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Monaco

    Blue Note - NYC - EUA

    Technical Information
    Stage Map
    Wanted -