Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Andy Milne and Gregoire Maret are a groundbreaking duo, made of rising harmonica star Gregoire Maret, who has played with everyone from Pat Metheny and Jimmy Scott to George Benson and Cassandra Wilson, and pianist Andy Milne, one of the most talented musicians to emerge from Steve Coleman's M-Base collective.
Before he even hit 30 years of age, Grégoire Maret became the most sought after harmonica player behind legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder. Influenced by both, Maret has managed to find his own voice on the instrument. His capability to play almost anything has created a steady flow of collaboration with musicians from the jazz, pop, rock, funk & R&B worlds, who call upon Maret's mastery to add his unique sound.
Born May 13, 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland to a Swiss father and American mother, Maret began his musical career as a harmonica player at age 17. He attended Geneva's prestigious Collège de Saussure and the Superior Conservatory of Music. In 1995, he made the critical decision to move to New York City and pursue his studies at the New School For Social Research, Jazz Program, where he graduated with a BA in Music in 1998, and has been on the move ever since.
Grégoire has recorded, performed and toured with many musical greats, including 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.
Currently residing in New York, Grégoire can either be seen on the road, or performing and recording with renowned jazz artists such as Cassandra Wilson, Charlie Hunter, Steve Coleman, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ravi Coltrane, and the Pat Metheny Group. Maret is currently touring around the world with journeyman bass guitarist and Grammy winner Marcus Miller.
Toronto-native Andy Milne's musical concepts draw inspiration from various forms of music, politics, philosophy, comedy, and science fiction. Recently awarded the 2007 French America Jazz Exchange Commission to compose with noted French pianist Benoit Delecq, and Voted Rising Star Keyboardist by Down Beat Magazine in 2004, Milne is one of the most respected young voices in jazz today. His highly recognizable quintet Dapp Theory blends contemporary funk, groove and hip-hop into jazz with such seamless, casual precision it's almost freaky (LA Weekly). Milne has toured and recorded with Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi, Carlos Ward, and Grammy-nominated vocalist Carla Cook.
In 1990, after completing an Honors degree in music at York University, Milne received a Canada Council grant to study at the renowned Banff Centre for Fine Arts. At Banff, he met saxophonist Steve Coleman, who encouraged Milne to move to New York. In 1991, after a year in Montreal picking up valuable sideman experience with Joe Lovano, Archie Shepp, and Ranee Lee, Milne moved to New York and joined Coleman's core unit Five Elements. M-BASE associates Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby also recognized his talent and invited Milne to perform with their groups. The long association with Coleman offered Milne the unique opportunity to develop a completely unprecedented harmonic and rhythmic approach to the piano. After six years gaining international recognition with Coleman's various projects, Milne stepped out on his own to conquer his own musical frontiers.
In 2001 Milne explored these truths in an ambitious songwriting collaboration with Canadian folk-rock icon Bruce Cockburn which were featured on Dapp Theory's 2003 Concord Records release Y'all Just Don't Know. In February 2006 as the Artist in Residence at The University of British Columbia, Milne lectured, collaborated with local musicians, and began composing new music. His prolific 2007 recording schedule will result in two releases: his first solo piano disc Dreams and False Alarms (Songlines), which features three originals and interpretations of 1960's era folk and pop music, and Scenarios, his ObliqSound duet album with harmonica player Grégoire Maret. In addition to performing, Milne shares his concepts with students as a faculty member of The School for Improvisational Music and The New School For Social Research in New York.
Scenarios is a rewarding listening experience on many levels. More than mere background music, these aural explorations insinuate their way into your ears and soul, leaving one both satisfied and wanting more. - Courant.com (Hartford Courant)
Focusing primarily on originals and improvisations, the pair make a strong team, both men clearly being virtuosos on their respective instruments. A followup meeting is definitely in order. -- All Music Guide
Spry and windborne. -- The New York Times
On Scenarios, an outing comprising equal parts original compositions, jazz standards and free improv, the recording provides unabashed bare-bones freeplay. When Milne and Maret attempted the same feats onstage, it was clear there was no safety net: relying solely on gumption and guile, the duo took chances that ultimately paid off...Milne and Maret generate significant heat. - All About Jazz