Celebrate 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Maria Schneider!

By Paulette Beete
Composer Maria Schnedier against a background of music notation paper
2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Maria Schneider. Photo by Jimmy and Dena Katz

“In this increasingly polarized world of social tensions, the antidote to everything that’s gone haywire may be found in jazz—our nation’s own extraordinary art form that has at its heart: listening, presence, communication, collaboration, and self-expression. What a blessing for all of us that the NEA still honors this unique art form that vividly illustrates the magic when we embrace this kind of human interaction. Being asked to represent this heritage among a pantheon of extraordinary people who inspired me to a life of music is a privilege like no other.” — Maria Schneider

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative,” “majestic,” “heart-stoppingly gorgeous,” and “beyond categorization.” Primarily known for her highly original and provocative big band compositions written over the past three decades, Schneider is unique in having written classical works as well, even stepping into rock through a collaboration with David Bowie. A strong advocate for musicians’ rights, she eschewed working with traditional record labels in 2003 when she became the launching artist on ArtistShare, the first crowdfunding web platform. The resulting album, Concert in the Garden, became the first Grammy-winning album to have internet-only sales, and also broke ground as the first crowdfunded Grammy Award winner. More...
Don't forget to join us Monday, April 15 as we celebrate all of the 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters at a Tribute Concert at Washington, DC's Kennedy Center. Watch live on arts.gov starting at 8:00pm ET!