GREGOIRE MARE INVITES EDMAR CASTANEDA
One of the world's most sought after Harmonica players, Grégoire Maret, was born in 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland and began playing the Harmonica at age 17. His childhood was filled with a diverse array of musical influences from his Harlem born, African-American mother and his Swiss father, a local jazz musician.
Over the years Maret honed his craft developing his own unique pan-global sound and a versatile style which enables him to play effortlessly across different musical genres. He is often compared to legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder and has been sought out to play with an incredible number of musical greats including Youssn’Dour, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn, George Benson, Reggie Workman, Charles Tolliver, Charles Fambrough, Patato Valdez, Max Roach, Tito Puente, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Pete la Roca, and Ray Brown, David Sanborn, Jimmy Scott, Jacky Terrasson, John Hicks, Idris Muhammad, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Mino Cinelu, Anita Baker, Bebel Gilberto, Leon Parker, Bruce Cockburn, George Benson, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Eric Revis and Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory. In May 2010, Grégoire Maret played at The Concert for the Rainforest with Elton John and Sting.
Currently residing in New York, Grégoire can either be seen on the road, or performing and recording with renowned jazz artists such as Marcus Miller, Cassandra Wilson, Charlie Hunter, Steve Coleman, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ravi Coltrane, and the Pat Metheny Group with which he received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2005. Maret appears on numerous recordings and in 2012 has released his first album as a leader. The eponymous album features such notable guests as Cassandra Wilson, Marcus Miller, Raul Midón, Mark Kibble and Alvin Chea of Take 6, and the legendary harmonica player Toots Thielemans.
Called “almost a world unto himself” by the New York Times the master of Colombian harp, Edmar Castaneda, was born in 1978, in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. Since his move to the United States in 1994, Edmar has quite literally 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”. Edmar is a master at realizing beautiful complexities of time, while skillfully drawing out lush colors and dynamic spirit.
The legendary Paquito D’Rivera, Edmar’s frequent collaborator, has remarked that "Edmar is…an enormous talent" who "has the versatility and the enchanting charisma of a musician who has taken his harp out of the shadow to become one of the most original musicians from the Big Apple." Even now, on stages across the globe, one notes how Edmar’s body seemingly engulfs his Colombian harp as he crafts almost unbelievable feats of cross-rhythms, layered with chordal nuances rivaling the most celebrated flamenco guitarist’s efforts.
Edamar has just release a new album with his World Ensemble - Live At Jazz Standard - which features Gregoire Maret among others. Edmar’s previous recording “Double Portion,” (which features Miguel Zenon, Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Hamilton de Holanda on Mandolina) has caught the attention of reviewers and his legion of fans. Rob Young of “Urban Flux Magazine” said of the recording “Edmar Castaneda’s caliber redefines depth, skill and emotion.”
In addition to his acclaimed performing career as an instrumentalist, which has included features at D’Rivera’s Carnegie Hall tribute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the 10th annual World Harp Congress, he has also play with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, John Scofield, Marcos Miller, John Patitucci, Chico O’Farrill ‘s Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band and Edmar Castaneda has gained recognition as a composer.