Jazz@Rochester Picks for XRIJF 2012: Tommy Smith & KARMA
Jazz@Rochester Picks for XRIJF 2012: Karrin Allyson

Jazz@Rochester Picks for XRIJF 2012: Gregoire Maret Quintet

Monday, June 25th, Max at Eastman Place @ 6:15 and 10:00 pm

Gregoire Maret image from XRIJFGregoire Maret was born in 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland and began playing the harmonica at age 17, bringing the diverse musical influences from his Harlem born, African- American mother and his Swiss father, a local jazz musician, as he developed his craft. Graduating from the prestigious Conservatoire Suprieur de Musique de Genve, Gregoire moved to New York City to pursue Jazz Studies at the New School University. He is now one of the most sought after harmonica players in the world, developinghis own unique sound and versatile style that enables him to play across different musical genres. He is often compared to legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder (see below) and has worked with diverse array of of musicians including Pat Metheny, Youssn'Dour, Me' Shell Ndegeocello, David Sanborn, George Benson, Cassandra Wilson, Herbie Hancock and Sting. In 2005, Gregoire toured with the Pat Metheny Group, which received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. That year he also won the Jazz Journalists Association "Player of the Year" award, after which Maret embarked on a two-year tour with the world-class bassist Marcus Miller and subsequently joined Herbie Hancock's band. This year he released his first as a leader.

To learn more about Maret, check out the May interview with Jason Crane on The Jazz Session podcast. You may also want to check out Josh Jackson's interview with Maret for NPR's WGBO.

There are a lot of videos of Gregoire Maret out there (here's the channel), but I've picked a few out, including this one of his Quartet doing The Man I Love in a nicely recorded 2010 RTS Label Suisse Production:

...and a nice long bit of the Quartet playing Lucilla's Dream in a January 2011 club date:

...and as promised above here's an impromptu jam with Stevie Wonder at the Stevie Wonder Suzuki's National Association of Music Merchants booth this year:

Check out my other picks for the 2012 XRIJF as they come out on the blog or by clicking on the “XRIJF Picks” Category in the middle column

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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