Harmonicist Maret Brings Distinct Jazz Sound to Mercyhurst Stage

Award-winning harmonicist Grégoire Maret will bring his distinct style of jazz to Mercyhurst University on Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

The performance is presented by the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture and JazzErie.

Maret was born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1975 and began playing the harmonica at age 17. His childhood was filled with a diverse array of musical influences from his mother, an African-American woman from Harlem, and his father, a jazz musician from Switzerland.

Upon graduating from the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève, Maret moved to New York City to pursue jazz studies at The New School University.

Maret’s unique sound and versatile style enable him to play effortlessly across different musical genres. He has shared the stage with a diverse range of famous musicians including Herbie Hancock, Pete Seeger, Cassandra Wilson, Elton John and more.

Pat Metheny praised Maret as “an exceptional young musician who is taking the harmonica to an exciting new place in jazz.” Maret toured with the Pat Metheny Group in 2005, and received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album that same year. He has also been honored with the Jazz Journalists Association “Player of the Year” award. After his Grammy win, Maret hit the road with world-renowned bassist Marcus Miller for a two-year tour and subsequently joined Herbie Hancock’s band.

Often compared to musical legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder, Maret assisted his sponsor, Suzuki Harmonica, in designing his own signature series of chromatic harmonicas.

Tickets are $32 for Gold Circle, $27 for adults and $24 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased by calling 814-824-3000 or by visiting miac.mercyhurst.edu.