Jill Newman Productions Presents: Gregoire Maret & The Inner Voice Ensemble w/ Special Guest Lizz Wright
& Surprise Special Guest
@ Highline Ballroom – Show @ 8PM (Doors @ 6PM)
“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
“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
“Grégoire Maret is an exceptional young musician who is taking the harmonica to an exciting new place in jazz.”
– Pat Metheny
“Whenever he lifts his instrument to his lips…we are transported with a sweet yet powerful intensity to a higher plane.”
– Cassandra Wilson
Over the course of the past decade, Grégoire Maret has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. That his chosen instrument – the harmonica – is a relative rarity in the genre is one element in his singular sound, but far from the whole explanation. After all, the extensive list of heavy-hitters who have enlisted him for their own projects is unparalleled: Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Marcus Miller are some of his most prominent employers, none of whom have the patience to employ novelty for novelty’s sake.
Having been voted one of the top miscellaneous instrument winners in a critics poll, his guest appearances on recording sessions and concert stages expand that list to even more jaw-dropping proportions: Raul Midón, Jimmy Scott, Jacky Terrasson, Richard Bona, Sean Jones, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kurt Elling, Lionel Loueke, Mike Stern, and Charlie Hunter have all made use of Maret’s unmatched palette of color. More recently, he’s worked alongside some of the biggest names in music, including Sting, Prince, and Elton John at Stings’ The Concert for the Rainforest.
Along the way, Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. Herbie Hancock has called Maret “one of the most creative musicians around,” while Marcus Miller has declared that he is “carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity.” Now, after years as one of the most in-demand sidemen and guests in jazz (and beyond), Maret finally made his highly anticipated first statement as a leader with his 2011 self-titled debut. The gorgeous, lyrical album opens up a wealth of possibilities for the underutilized jazz harmonica, encompassing the diversity of Maret’s influences and experiences to date but retaining a unified sound evidencing accents from jazz, soul, and Brazilian music among others.
Maret grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of a Harlem-born, African-American mother and a Swiss father. After studying at the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève he decided to undertake jazz studies at New York’s New School University. Intending to return to Switzerland and a career as a teacher, Maret soon found himself working regularly with NYC’s finest jazz musicians, and his decision to stick around for a year after graduation was extended indefinitely.
Calls came quickly from bandleaders as diverse as Jacky Terrasson, Steve Coleman, and Meshell Ndegeocello, each of whose music required Maret to expand his vision of his own instrument, an ideal that continues to this day.
Maret has been touring the world with his quartet on behalf of this latest CD and has begun work on his next recording project, co-produced with Terri Lyne Carrington, which will be released later in 2015.
Lizz Wright has been the recipient of nonstop critical acclaim and ever-increasing audiences ever since her Verve debut. Like so many vocal greats, Lizz began her singing in the church. For her it was a small church in Hahira, Georgia where her father served as musical director and where she soaked up the sounds of songs of faith. She was also surrounded by varied types of secular music at home especially jazz and soul. Wright moved to Atlanta in the late 90s to attend Georgia State University and began singing classical repertoire under Dr. Dwight Coleman. She also began singing jazz, both solo and as part of the popular local group In The Spirit. She made a name for herself in other parts of the country in 2002 as part of a touring concert tribute to Billie Holiday, where her poised, emotive performance stole the show.
A year later Wright was signed by Verve Records and worked with legendary jazz producer Tommy LiPuma on her debut album, Salt. It topped the contemporary jazz charts and became one of the most acclaimed albums of 2003, mixing standards with new material and styles ranging from Gospel to Soul to Jazz to Blues with ease. And her clear, deep voice and mature phrasing certainly belied her age (then 23).
Following Salt, Dreaming was both a critical and commercial success, and paved the way for 2008’s The Orchard, another excellent CD that paired Wright with with producer Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, KD Lang, Norah Jones). It was followed by Fellowship, a more inspirational-focused released.
Over her four albums, Lizz Wright has demonstrated that she is a top notch songwriter and also has the interpretive skills to become a premier popular song stylist. She is a complete artist who has both talent and musical instincts well beyond her young age, and one whom I hope will continue to stretch her boundaries in the years to come. I believe she will and that twenty years from now we will be talking about Lizz Wright as one of the great popular singers of her generation.« Back to Events