ACT welcomes Swiss-born, New York-based, GRAMMY award-winning harmonica player Grégoire Maret to it’s family of artists. His ACT debut album „Harp vs. Harp“, a duo recording with the harp virtuoso Edmar Castañeda and special guests Béla Fleck and Andrea Tierra will be released worldwide on June 14th.
Over the course of the past decade, Maret has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. And he has re-defined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. 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. Maret‘s guest appearances in the studio and on stage expand that list to even more jaw-dropping proportions: Prince, Sting, Elton John, Jimmy Scott, Dianne Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Charlie Hunter, Youssn’Dour, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn and George Benson have all made use of Maret's unmatched palette of color.
Cassandra Wilson said “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.” Pat Metheny calls Maret „an exceptional musician who is taking the harmonica to an exciting new place in jazz.“. And Marcus Miller declared that he is "carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity“, while Herbie Hancock has called Maret "one of the most creative musicians around”.
For his ACT debut „Harp vs. Harp“, Grégoire Maret teams up with harp virtuoso Edmar Castañeda. Born in Colombia, Castañeda took up the harp as a teenager to play the folkloric music of his homeland. He discovered jazz shortly after moving to New York City being immediately drawn to the freedom and sophistication of the music. He was ushered into the jazz community by Paquito D’Rivera, who recognized his passion and took the young harpist under his wing. Since then, Castaneda has taken New York and the world stage by storm with the sheer force of his virtuosic command of the harp, revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider an instrument commonly relegated to the “unusual category”. The collaboration between Grégoire Maret and Edmar Castañeda is the musical encounter of two true masters and innovators of their instruments.