Frédéric Yonnet/Grégoire Maret

Frédéric Yonnet/Grégoire Maret

The future of jazz harmonica looks promising indeed with this potent double bill presenting two improvisers taking the harp into uncharted territory. Paris native Frédéric Yonnet has developed an achingly soulful and rhythmic approach as demonstrated during his show-stopping performance with pianist Jason Moran at the SFJAZZ Center Historic Opening Night Concert, and he returns with a singular synthesis of contemporary jazz, funk, gospel and hip-hop. Yonnet has worked with a mind-blowing array of artists, collaborating with comedian Dave Chappelle, performing regularly with Stevie Wonder, and recording with Prince, India.Aria, and Vieux Farka Touré. The Swiss-born Grégoire Maret is a consummate artist; a masterful player who has recorded and toured with everyone from Youssou N’Dour and Meshell Ndegeocello to Steve Coleman and Herbie Hancock. A long-time member of the Pat Metheny Group, he’s also spent the past three years working with vocalist Cassandra Wilson. She’s one of the illustrious guests on his stellar 2012 debut, an eponymous Koch release that also features bassist Marcus Miller, singer Gretchen Parlato, and harmonica legend Toots Thielemans, whose presence serves as a jazz benediction for Maret, a rightful heir to Thielemans’ throne.

"An exceptional musician. " — The New York Times on Frédéric Yonnet
"Maret plays the chromatic harmonica with the chops of Toots Thielemans and the soul-searing expression of Stevie Wonder. " — JazzTimes