Grégoire Maret & Romain Collin

Biography Grégoire Maret & Romain Collin

Grégoire Maret & Romain CollinGrégoire Maret & Romain Collin

Grégoire Maret
Grammy winner, Swiss born harmonica player and composer, Gregoire Maret moved to New York City at 18 years old to study at the New School University. Over the course of the past decade, Gregoire has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. That his chosen instrument - the harmonica - is a relative rarity in the genre is one element in his singular sound, but far from the whole explanation. After all, 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, none of whom have the patience to employ novelty for novelty's sake. ​

His guest appearances on recording sessions and concert stages expand that list to even more jaw-dropping proportions: Prince, Sting, Elton John, Jimmy Scott, Dianne Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Raul Midón, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Charlie Hunter have all made use of Maret's unmatched palette of color. ​

Along the way, Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. Herbie Hancock has called Maret "one of the most creative musicians around," while Marcus Miller has declared that he is "carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity." ​

In 2020, Gregoire in collaboration with French pianist Romain Collin and guitar visionary Bill Frisell have created "Americana". The music on Americana comes from the perspective of two immigrants to the U.S.; the Swiss-native Maret, and Frenchman Collin. "From their peaceful opener, a bucolic take on Mark Knopfler’s “Brothers in Arms,” to Frisell’s engaging, folksy “Small Town,” to Romain’s heartland anthem “San Luis Obispo,” with Maret doubling Frisell’s twangy electric guitar lines, this is all warm, comforting material. A heart-rending interpretation of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman,” Maret’s sweet lullaby “Back Home,” and the hymn-like “Still,” underscored by Frisell’s swirling, entrancing guitar loops, also weave a subtle spell on listeners." (Absolute Sound). Americana was nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album on the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (2020).

Romain Collin
is a Grammy-nominated pianist who has been praised by NPR as a "visionary composer" and hailed by the Boston Globe as one of the "leading lights of a new breed of jazz players." The NY-based, French- American musician has developed “a highly personal and contemporary vision” (A Blog Supreme, NPR), a style “unique and engaging without obvious influences” (All About Jazz) that seamlessly blends improvisation, electronic sound design, indie rock, and film scoring.

Collin's latest solo release, Tiny Lights... (XM, 2019), has been celebrated as "a unique voice, a crystal clear vision" by UK VIBE. He followed this up with a full-length album of remixes, Tiny Lights... RMXS (2021). To accompany this record, Collin created a long-form music video entitled SHE, in collaboration with director Matt Palmer, choreographer and dancer Alina Fatieieva, and lauded fashion designer Alexander Chen. SHE was selected for the Canada International Fashion Film Festival and the Istanbul Fashion Film Festival (2020), and was screened at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco. In 2022, Collin also founded FOSS, a project that combines original electro-pop music with breathtaking visuals. FOSS has performed at Burning Man's famed Robot Heart, Catharsis in collaboration with digital artist Refik Anadol and visionary architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, the Shed for the Sonic Sphere, various art galleries and other cutting-edge performing arts venues.

Collin's debut album as a leader, The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn (Fresh Sound, 2009), was hailed as "an astonishingly mature and ambitious debut that secures Collin a placeholder in the continuing evolution of the grand tradition of the piano trio" by All About Jazz. He was soon after invited by legendary pianist Marian McPartland to her prestigious Piano Jazz show on NPR to discuss his artistic vision and perform solo piano. In 2012, Collin released his second album as a leader, The Calling (Palmetto). This opus was described as "a tour de force that showcases Collin’s strengths as an accomplished composer and virtuoso pianist of the highest order" by JazzEd Magazine, and as “a work of art that is worthy of being held onto for generations to come” (Eric Sandler, The Revivalist). His third release, Press Enter (ACT, 2015), was described by the New York Times as a "winning new album," hailed by Jazz journal, UK as an "absolute masterpiece," and praised by All About Jazz as an "extraordinary album."

Collin attended Berklee College of Music ('04), where he majored in Music Synthesis. He graduated from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz in 2007, where he held a Full Scholarship as the pianist of an ensemble handpicked by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Terence Blanchard. During this time, he toured internationally with Hancock and Shorter, shared the stage with Marcus Miller, Jimmy Heath, and Terence Blanchard, and studied with the likes of Larry Goldings, Russell Ferrante, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller, and Wynton Marsalis.

Collin is a co-leader of several critically acclaimed projects, among them a group with harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret and guitarist Bill Frisell, which released Americana (ACT, 2019) and earned a Grammy® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. He has released two duo records with singer Sachal Vasandani, Midnight Shelter (Edition, 2021) and Still Life (Edition, 2022), which have been praised by RadioFrance as “music that speaks with emotion and feeling, that does not allow virtuosity to take precedence over the meaning, expression and feeling of the song”. Collin is set to release a couple of duo records in collaboration with Björk’s longtime engineer and music director, Bergur Thorisson.

Romain has composed numerous scores for films such as This Land (a feature documentary directed by Matthew Palmer), Anthem and Syria (mini-documentaries produced by Peace Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai), Le Brésil par la Côte (five-part feature documentary, 2014), Les Airventuriers (two-part feature documentary, 2015), various short documentaries for the United Nations Refugee Agency as well as numerous award-wining short movies.

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