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New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | SELF

New York City, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2002
Solo Jazz Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Singer Maritri Garrett on Working With the Music Industry's Biggest Stars"

For Maritri Garrett, music has always been second nature. She started playing the piano at age 2 and hasn’t stopped since, mastering the keys of the piano and moving on to other instruments. She is classically trained on the cello and taught herself how to play the guitar several years ago. She practiced on her own for two years before deciding to take a lesson. By that time, the instructor thought she was too advanced.

“I went to two lessons with a friend of mine and he was like get out of here, don’t come back,” she laughed.

Garrett has worked as a composer and performed as both a cellist and pianist while also making strides as a singer. Her gift of music has allowed her to transform personal experiences of love, life and loss into stories and timeless songs. She has opened for Gladys Knight and has sung alongside Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone and Barbra Streisand.

“She was lovely,” she said after being asked about what it was like to work with Streisand. “She came to all the rehearsals. She was totally prepared. She was amazing. I just sat there and was like 'Woah.' You don’t expect someone like that to come to all the rehearsals. Maybe just one but she came to all the rehearsals.”

Not only has she shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the music industry, she has also helped train them. Garrett worked with Mary J. Blige as she was prepping for a movie role.

“Originally, she was supposed to be in the Nina Simone film and I was coaching her to play piano and she was fantastic…she was also very lovely to work with,” Garrett said.

Garrett is now focusing on her own music with her band, The Soulfolk Experience. The group will be releasing a new album by the end of the year - ABC News

"Maritri Garret Interview by Tom Paul"

Maritri Garrett has been busy lately just finishing her new CD Enter Redemption which is available on her website , she has been running One Mic Night on Monday's at Hacienda in the East Village which has grown into The Soulfolk Experience featuring many of the talented singer/songwriters that were showing up every Monday.

The Soulfolk Experience has been performing quite a bit around the NYC area and most recently at some great venues in Los Angeles area.

Their upcoming show:

The Soulfolk Experience
April, 24 2008 at Solomon's Porch 307 Stuyvesant Ave Brooklyn, NY 11233(718) 919-8001

Cost : $10

The Soulfolk Experience
April, 26 2008 at Embora 900 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York Cost : $10

Maritri and friends perform the Blue Note on June 7 2008, late night , featuring The Soulfolk Experience
west 3rd, manhattan, New York 10010 Cost : $8
a night of music featuring me and my friends!

Maritri runs this open mic called One Mic Night every Monday night which has expanded into The Soulfolk Experience along with new talented singer/songwriters coming down to play a song or two.
April, 28th 2008 is the next eve at one mic @ Hacienda, this is a regular monday night session.

40 avenue C between 3rd and 4th, manhattan, New York 10009 Cost : $5

To keep up on all of her live performances check out her myspace page and some great clips of live performances.

TP: You have a lot going on lately with your new CD due out and One Mic Night on Mondays at Hacienda and now The Soulfolk Experience seems to have taken up most of your upcoming shows. Tell me how the Soulfolk Experience has come about?

MG: Last year, Marcos Allen, an old friend of mine from the Soul Cafe asked me to come play at a restaurant he was opening called The evening started as a solo gig and remained that way for two weeks. Then V. Jeffery Smith from the Family Stand showed up Luqman Brown and then Monet, then Corey Glover and David Pilgrim and Annekei. From there, the monday night eventually moved to Hacienda but has continued to grow . The Soulfolk Experience solidified in february at the Cutting Room featuring Jeni Fujita. we always ran into each other when she lived here and said we should work together. i felt the same way but it never happened until she moved to Cali and hit me up on myspace. I booked the show and the rest was history. Ganessa James, Shelley Nicole, have been down since those summer days and even earlier. We have all worked in each others bands so it seemed a natural progression.

The cd is out... Enter Redemption and is a full length guitar cd available at through Paypal.

TP: I've seen this amazing evening of One Mic Night at a few venues. Hacienda seems to feel like home for this wonderful event, do you agree? it is interesting because the first place was voyage and now hacienda. voyage home.

MG: It was crazy because voyage shut down on a friday night. two weeks before, i saw a man and his girlfriend outside and I went out to welcome them in. Afterwards, the guy said he owned a space and was looking to do something on a monday nights. I said I couldn't on a monday but little did I know I would be calling him that saturday to ask if I could use the place on that monday. He said they were closed on Mondays, but that he would open for me. He did. His name is Chris Canon and he didn't know me from adam. I am very grateful to him.

TP: The musicians who show up every Monday night seems like some of the great session players around town, how fortunate to have these musicians show up week after week?

MG: I feel totally blessed and honored that folks showed up to play with me and now they show up to play with each other. It is a total love fest every week. Folks have grown so much it is unbelievable! They are writing amazing music and the level of artistry seems to elevate weekly. I am racing to keep up! lol!

TP: Talk about how the musicians on the Soulfolk Experience work so well together on stage?

MG: They are all so talented, yet they have no problem laying down all ego's to ensure the song is felt from its core. Egos somehow get left at the door and everyone becomes a vessel for the art to come through. I feel this way about all of the artists individually. You watch them get filled on stage. When we are in a group, where two or three are gathered, it is this mass experience. We all get caught up in each other's songs and the music overwhelms everything. There is no real room for anything else.

TP: Seems like you could easily take the Soulfolk Experience on the road like its own version of a multi-artist ensemble, any chances that will be happening? A Reunion of Souls per say on the road?

MG: Funny you should say that. Carla Duren, who is also one of us, said that would be the tour song and the tour name. She is currently on Broadway subbing for Inez in Hairspray. I am working out how to take the show on the road and reach the folks who need to be reached. It will take a lot of money and some guerilla tactics for sure but i am ready and willing.

TP: Can you talk about the shows you just performed in the Los Angeles area with Soulfolk Experience?

MG: They were incredible! It was just the girls on the west coast and the boys were holding it down on this side. People were very excited about hearing us and we were very excited about playing for a new audience.

TP: Will there be a Soulfolk Experience CD compilation of everyone's tunes that you all play live?

MG: The CD is soon to come.

TP: Talk to me about what influences you when you sit down to write a song?

MG: Life, love and loss. People always comment that my music is melancholy. It is that other side of me. Not sad but thoughtful. I have lost many dear friends and that inspires me to write. I fell in love a couple of years ago and the residue is still there. Makes for great songwriting. Perfect way to work through the pain.

TP: How many instruments do you play?

MG: Cello, piano and guitar. Is shaker an instrument?!!!! I am learning drums as well and I have a mandolin which I have yet to touch.

TP: When can we expect to hear your full length CD? What will be the title of the CD be?

MG: It is available on Enter Redemption.

TP: Your songs take on some many musical breathes when listening to them. Are there any particular songwriters, singers, producers that hold a heavy influence on you?

MG: I loved Roberta Flack growing up. All of the jazz greats and my dad is an amazing sax player. Everything I know about music and integrity had its roots with him. I was classically trained on piano and played only piano up until four years ago. I love Stevie, Sting, Joni Mitchell ,anyone who tells a great story eloquently. I love Bob Marley, Hank Williams, The Beatles... I listened to everything growing up.

TP: How hands on do you like to be with the recording/production process?

MG: I recorded this latest effort by myself. Drae Alexander mixed it for me. My other cd, i relied on Ian Friday to produce it.

TP: Do you like working with other producers or handling these chores all to yourself?

MG: I like both. Sometimes it is good to have another set of ears.

TP: Can you mention all of these kool new venues that you have all been playing at?

MG: The Cutting room in NYC was one of the first places I played when I moved here. Steve Walter has been super supportive of my career. Now I am back there with The Soulfolk Experience. love that! We played Genghis Cohen in LA, BAM, Solomon's Porch and Embora in Brooklyn and of course, Hacienda in NYC's East Village every Monday night.

TP: Can you let us know where the inspiration for Reunion of Souls came about?

MG: I said i fell in love... it was about that. The trials and tribulations of meeting a soulmate, a kindred spirit. That song wrote itself. I was on the train going to a recording session and when i got to the studio, I told Ian we had to record it. He had a whole different day mapped out but he indulged me. There was a beautiful wind patch that showed itself " accidentally" on his drum machine. We laid the song down as it was.

TP: Do you have any other projects with that you are currently working that we can expect out?

MG: Isn't this enough?!!!! Seriously, we will be doing a compilation CD of the Soulfolk Experience music.

TP: If I was only to make it out to one of your upcoming shows, which one should I be at?

You have so many listed on your myspace page . Cutting Room? Blue Note? Embora? Joe's Pub? Solomon's Porch?

MG: Come to them all. quit playing! embora is important because i am kicking off a series of community concerts featuring artists from the community. the blue note and the cutting room have pianos so i can play. solomon's porch has great food.

TP: Thanks for your time and I will definitely make it out to one of these upcoming show.

Below is an flyer of the shows coming up this Spring for Maritri Garrett and The Soulfolk Experience.

If anyone is interested in being interviewed, please contact me via myspace , my blog and leave a comment on one of the Blogs.


Tom Paul - Soul Tracks


Still working on that hot first release.




  • Singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist
  • NPR Featurette 
  • Has worked with Mary J Blige, Gladys Knight, Ani Di Franco, Patti Labelle, and Barbara Streisand [just to name a few]

Few singers can portray stories of love, life and loss with heart-rending accuracy like Maritri Garrett. Her poignant, bittersweet lyrics tell “grown folks’ stories” in a heart-rending way, capable of rocking you to your very core. With such a rare, innate talent, Maritri was destined to share her ability with the world.

Maritri has a natural gift for music, learning instruments with an ease that is impossible to describe and equally impossible to forget. As a two-year-old in Southern California, she developed her love of music when she began playing piano under the loving, watchful eyes of her parents. Right away, it became clear that she was a born musician. Only a few years after, Maritri taught herself to play guitar, and it seemed only moments later that she was performing on stage. In 2002, Maritri made her classical piano debut at Steinway Hall in New York.  In the summer of 2005, she picked up the cello, and after only six short months, she made her debut as a cellist at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As a result of that debut, she was commissioned alongside cellist Shana Tucker to compose music for two ballets at the Washington Ballet under the direction of Mary Day, at the Kennedy Center, and at the Witts Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This ability to not only play, but to compose, has taken her many places. Maritri has lent her talents for composition to the drama department at William’s College in Massachusetts, Amherst University’s Hip Hop Conference, and Danny Simmons’ Bombay Sapphire campaign on art. Sharing her gift further, she has taught songwriting courses at Interlochen for their summer program, and at the Songwriter's Soul Kitchen with Vinx. She even trained Mary J. Blige, with help from acting coach Susan Batson, to play Nina Simone!

A quality musical education helped Maritri’s own natural gift blossom; she studied Jazz with Grady Tate and Geri Allen, and Classical with Raymond Jackson and Russell Baldwin. She has a B.S. degree in Biology from Fisk University in Nashville, where she also was also a world-renowned Jubilee Singer. Additionally, Maritri holds a Bachelors in Composition and a Masters in Jazz Studies from Howard University, Washington, D.C. With that education, she became the founding member of bands Hue (which opened for Vinx and the Indigo Girls) and Soulfolk Experience.

Maritri’s musical path has led to many memorable performances. As a backup singer, she lent her talents to Barbara Streisand and Michael Amante. As her own act, she’s opened f or Gladys Knight, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Stanley Jordan, Toshi Reagon, Hiram Bullock, Muzz Skillings, and Vinx and the Indigo Girls. At Nina Simone’s family memorial, she performed with Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone, Valerie Simpson, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Numerous other notable names have shared the stage with Maritri, including Danny Simmons, Sekou Sundiata ,Me’shell N’degeo’Cello, Corey Glover, Vernon Reid, Ani Di Franco, Nona Hendryx, Ntsikelelo Cekwana, Andy Milne, Simone, Michael Amante and Ledisi.

Additionally, she’s made many more exciting appearances, such as for BET on Jazz as a musician and host, the NAACP image awards in 2014, and the online commercial for Emirates Airlines’ Harmony campaign. More recently, she was a featured performer on NPR in D.C. with the author Susan Minot.

This incredible career has resulted in several albums, which are available on both Itunes and Amazon.

Band Members