FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society announced it will be holding a centennial tribute concert celebrating the music of jazz legend Toots Thielemans featuring pianist Kenny Werner and harmonica master Gregoire Maret.
According to a release, the concert will be held at Roots HQ on the Fayetteville Square on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
In the concert, Werner and Maret honor Thielemans who passed away in 2016 with
songs written by or associated with Thielemans like “Bluesette,” “Midnight Sun,” “Theme from
Midnight Cowboy,” “I Do It For Your Love,” and “What a Wonderful World.”
Thielemans is credited with making the harmonica into a legitimate jazz instrument, recording over 30 albums, and working with artists including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, and Pat Metheny.
Werner has been a world-class pianist and composer for over 40 years, earning a Grammy
nomination in 2003 in the Best Instrumental Composition category. In 2010, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1995 he was commissioned to compose a piano concerto
dedicated to Duke Ellington. Most importantly, Thielemans and Werner were soul mates. Werner
performed as a pianist for Thielemans for over 20 years.
Swiss-born Grammy-winner Maret has a résumé that includes Prince, Marcus Miller, Kurt Elling,
Pete Seeger, Cassandra Wilson, and more. For the tribute performance to his mentor and
inspiration, Maret says the duo will, “find new places where his spirit is truly honored but his music is being played through a new prism.”
Thielemans reportedly took a special interest in Maret because he had his own sound and style, and while influenced by Thielemans, never sought to copy him.
Tickets for the concert are on sale at digjazz.com/events.