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Chromatic harmonica player Grégoire Maret to perform at MCCC in Whitpain

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WHITPAIN Grégoire Maret, billed as one of the world’s most sought-after harmonica players, will bring his diverse interpretations of jazz-infused world music to Montgomery County Community College on Saturday, April 18, at 8 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Whitpain. Tickets cost $28. Visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call (215) 641-6518 for more information and tickets.

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Maret was exposed to a wide array of musical influences from his Harlem, New York-born mother and Swiss father, a local jazz musician. A graduate of the Music Conservatory in Geneva, he studied jazz at the New School University in New York.

“I listen to a lot of music from different parts of the world [and] try to find new things and new sounds to play on my instruments,” says Maret, who has created his own harmonica series for Suzuki. “The chromatic harmonica…has a voice-like quality. It can do things that no other instrument can express or play [and] can fit into any musical setting, yet there is still very little that has been explored with it. So there is a lot to be done and discovered.”

Hailed by National Public Radio as a “restless creative spirit who can’t keep still on stage” and by Pat Metheny as “an exceptional young musician who is taking the harmonica to an exciting new place in jazz,” Maret was named “Player of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and earned a Grammy award for best contemporary jazz album for his work with Metheny. He has performed at the “Concert for the Rainforest” with Elton John and Sting and has played with such legendary musicians as Herbie Hancock, Youssou N’Dour, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn and George Benson.

Funded by a grant from William Penn Foundation, Maret’s performance is part of the College’s 2014-15 Lively Arts series, “Old School, New School.” Upcoming performances include political satirist comedy troupe The Capitol Steps on May 2 and the annual Betzwood Film Festival on May 9.

Grégoire Maret. Photo by Ingrid Hertfelder

Grégoire Maret.
Photo by Ingrid Hertfelder

The Lively Arts programs have connected the community for more than a quarter century. In addition to performances from internationally acclaimed artists, each season features a Young Arts Explorers series; student choral, jazz ensemble, guitar, dance and theater performances; the Presidential Symposium and Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice; and the Betzwood Film Festival.

For more information, visit mc3.edu/livelyarts, email livelyarts@mc3.edu or call the Box Office at (215) 641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts.

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