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Grégoire Maret

About this Artist

Born in 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland, to a Harlem-born African-American mother and jazz-playing Swiss father, Maret took up the harmonica as a teenager. After graduating from the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève, Maret took off to New York City to study at New School University’s Jazz Department.

In 2003, Maret was the subject of director Frédéric Baillif’s documentary Sideman, and a year later he joined the Pat Metheny Group, appearing on the band’s 2005 album The Way Up, which won a Grammy® Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Playing a chromatic harmonica – a distinctive instrument heard on recordings by Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder – Maret developed a unique musical voice, and after working with Metheny for a number of years, he brought that voice to Herbie Hancock’s band. He co-led the jazz trio Gaïa with pianist Federico Gonzales Peña and drummer Gene Lake, and has worked with an incredible roster of players, including George Benson, Youssou N’Dour, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Cassandra Wilson, David Sanborn, Elton John, Sting, and many others.

In 2012, Maret released his first album as a bandleader, an eponymously titled effort, featuring collaborations with vocalist Cassandra Wilson and the late Thielemans. In 2016, he followed it up with Wanted, in which he explored the stylistic possibilities of his instrument.