Maria Schneider (musician)

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Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider.jpg
Maria Schneider at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, 2008
Background information
Born (1960-11-27) November 27, 1960 (age 55)
Windom, Minnesota, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Instruments Composer
Jazz Orchestra Director
Labels ArtistShare
Associated acts The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra

Maria Schneider (born November 27, 1960) is an American composer and big-band-leader.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Her 2004 album Concert in the Garden won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album,.[7] Her 2007 composition "Cerulean Skies" won a Grammy for 'Best Instrumental Composition." In 2013, Schneider released an album Winter Morning Walks featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, the Saint Paul and Australian Chamber Orchestras, bassist Jay Anderson, pianist Frank Kimbrough and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. In 2014 it won three Grammy Awards: Best Classical Contemporary Composition for the work Winter Morning Walks written to poetry by US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser. Dawn Upshaw received a Grammy for her vocal performance on the same recording, and producer David Frost and engineers Tim Martyn and Brian Losch all received Grammys for Best Engineered Album, Classical. The album fan-funded through ArtistShare[8] is surely one of the first, if not the first album by major American orchestras to be fan-funded.[citation needed]


Schneider was born in Windom, Minnesota. She studied music theory and composition at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1983, then earned a Master's in Music in 1985 from the Eastman School of Music, studying for one year as well at the University of Miami. Upon leaving Eastman, Gil Evans hired her as his copyist and assistant.[9] Schneider collaborated with Evans for the next several years, working with him on music for a tour with Sting and assisting him as he scored the film The Color of Money. Schneider went on to study with Bob Brookmeyer from 1986 to 1991.

In 1992, Schneider formed The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, which appeared weekly at Visiones in Greenwich Village from 1993 until it closed in 1998. Her orchestra has also performed at many jazz festivals and concert halls, playing Europe, South America and Asia. Schneider has performed with over 80 groups in over 30 countries, and taught at universities worldwide. In 2013, Schneider received an honorary doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Schneider is an avid birdwatcher and enlisted band members to contribute bird calls on "Cerulean Skies" on her recording Sky Blue.

Schneider has won numerous awards which include Down Beat's Annual Critics Polls selected Schneider as "Best Composer," "Best Arranger" and for her group, "Best Big Band" in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. [10]

Pioneer of fan-based productions[edit]

Schneider's 2005 GRAMMY award album, Concert in the Garden (released 2004), was the first award-winning album produced by ArtistShare, a fan funded platform that has since, as of 2014, produced 18 GRAMMY nominations and 9 GRAMMY Awards.[11] Her 2008 GRAMMY Award album, Sky Blue (released 2007)[7] and her collaborative 2014 GRAMMY Award album, Winter Morning Walks, was also produced by ArtistShare.[8]


Concert in the Garden

  1. Jazz Album of the Year
  2. Composer of the Year
  3. Arranger of the Year
  4. Large Jazz Ensemble of the Year[12]
  • Schneider's composition Cerulean Skies, from the album Sky Blue, won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition.[13]

Winter Morning Walks

The Thompson Fields

Selected discography[edit]

The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra

Recorded September 1992 at Skyline Studios, New York City, engineer, Paul Wickliffe
Recorded November 9 & 10, 1995, at Clinton Recording Studios, New York City, engineer, Jim Anderson
  • Live at the Jazz Standard – Days of Wine and Roses, ArtistShare AS0017 (CD) (2000)
Recorded January 2000, live at the Jazz Standard, New York City, (live to 2-track) engineer, David Baker
  • Allégresse, ArtistShare AS0005 (CD) (2000 Enja re-released 2005 ArtistShare)
Recorded January 26 & 27, 2000, at Clinton Recording Studios, New York City, engineer, James Farber
Recorded March 8–11, 2004, at Avatar Studios, New York City, engineer, David Baker
Recorded January 6–9, 2007, at Legacy Recording Studios, New York City, engineer, Joe Ferla
Dawn Upshaw with the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Recorded May 2 & 3, 2012, at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, engineers, Tim Martyn & Brian Losch, producer, David Frost
Dawn Upshaw with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Recorded September 26 & 27, 2012, at the Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, engineers, Tim Martyn & Brian Losch, producer, David Frost
Recorded August 26–30, 2014, at Avatar Studios, New York City, engineer, Brian Montgomery

Selected videos[edit]

Maria Schneider Big Band, Live at the 32nd Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival, July 17, 2008


  1. ^ All Music Guide to Jazz, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, Inc. (1996), Backbeat Books (2002)
       2nd ed., ed. by Michael Erlewine (1996); OCLC 35201244
       4th ed., ed. by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, & Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2002); OCLC 50477109
  2. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Ninth edition, edited by Laura Kuhn, New York: Schirmer Books, Vol 5 (of 6) (2001); OCLC 44972043
  3. ^ The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz and Blues, edited by Howard Mandel, New York: Billboard Books (2005); OCLC 61771061
  4. ^ Biography Index, New York: H.W. Wilson Co.; OCLC 8264686; ISSN 0006-3053
       Vol. 18: September 1992 – August 1993 (1993); OCLC 59569808
       Vol. 22: September 1996 – August 1997 (1997)
       Vol. 27: September 2001 – August 2002 (2002); OCLC 865173264
       Vol. 30: September 2004 – August 2005 (2005)
       Vol. 31: September 2005 – August 2006 (2006)
  5. ^ Contemporary Musicians. Profiles of the people in music. Volume 48. Detroit: Thomson Gale (2004) (biography contains portrait); OCLC 19730669; ISSN 1044-2197
  6. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, Vol. 3 (of 3 three), edited by Barry Kernfeld, London: Macmillan Publishers (2002); OCLC 46956628
  7. ^ a b 47th annual Grammy Awards Winners,
  8. ^ a b c 56th Annual Grammy Awards Winners & Nominees, January 27, 2014
  9. ^ Big Bands & Great Ballrooms: American is Dancing ... Again, by Jack Behrens & John C. Behrens, AuthorHouse (self-published), pg. 155 (2006); OCLC 80936539
  10. ^ "The DownBeat Critics Poll Archive",
  11. ^ Making Fans a Part of the Inner Circle, Los Angeles Times, February 10, 2008 Retrieved October 8, 2011
  12. ^ 2005 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards, @
  13. ^ 50th Annual Grammy Awards Winners, @
  14. ^ 56th Grammy Award Winners
  15. ^ "2015 Grammy Award Winners – Jazz". The Recording Academy. Retrieved September 13, 2016. 
  16. ^ Ivan Hewett, jazz critic (11 June 2015). "Maria Schneider Orchestra, The Thompson Fields, album review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 

External links[edit]