Grow Your Art with Maria Schneider: Residency Concert

In this digital concert, Maria Schneider conducts the NEC Jazz Orchestra in a program of her compositions including The Pretty Road, Data Lords, Walking By Flashlight, Gumba Blue, Sputnik and Choro Dançado. The concert will be recorded on March 4 with a video broadcast on March 10.

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, imaginative, revelatory, riveting, daring, and beyond categorization.” Blurring the lines between genres, her varied commissioners stretch from Jazz at Lincoln Center, to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, to the American Dance Festival, and include collaboration with David Bowie. She is among a small few to receive Grammys in multiple genres, having received the award in jazz and classical, as well as for her work with David Bowie.



Presented by NEC Jazz & Entrepreneurial Musicianship, this residency features Maria Schneider performing with the students of NEC's jazz department, as well as masterclasses, workshops, and panel discussions on music business and entrepreneurship, applicable to artists working in any genre.

The residency is open to the public and will take place virtually this year:

View all public Grow Your Art events

More info for students and alumni

More about Maria Schneider

With her first recording, Evanescence (1994), Schneider began developing her personal way of writing for her 18-member collective made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to the uniquely creative voices of the group. They have performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide, and she herself has received numerous commissions and guest-conducting invites, working with over 90 groups in over 30 countries.

Unique funding of projects has become a hallmark for Schneider through the trend-setting company, ArtistShare. And, in 2004, Concert in the Garden became historic as the first recording to win a GRAMMY with Internet-only sales. Even more significantly, it blazed the "crowd-funding" trail as ArtistShare’s first release, and was eventually inducted into the 2019 National Recording Registry.

Schneider’s many honors also include: 14 Grammy nominations, 5 Grammy Awards, numerous Jazz Journalists Association awards, DownBeat and JazzTimes Critics and Readers Poll awards, an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, ASCAP’s esteemed Concert Music Award (2014), the nation's highest honor in jazz, “NEA Jazz Master” (2019) (NEA Jazz Master Speech found here), and election into the 2020 American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A strong voice for music advocacy, Schneider has testified before the US Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property on digital rights, has given commentary on CNN, participated in round-tables for the United States Copyright Office, has been quoted in numerous publications for her views on Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Google, digital rights, and music piracy, and has written various white papers and articles on the digital economy as related to music and beyond.

Her latest double-album, Data Lords (2020), has melded her advocacy and art: Nate Chinen of NPR writes: “Now it's finally here, in the form of a magnificent double album, Data Lords. . . it parses into thematic halves, ‘The Digital World’ and, as an antidote, ‘The Natural World.’ On the whole and in the details, it amounts to the most daring work of Schneider's career, which sets the bar imposingly high. This is music of extravagant mastery, and it comes imbued with a spirit of risk."

David Hajdu for THE NATION writes, “Beyond the dualism in its format, Data Lords is a work of holistic creativity. The music of outrage and critique in the first album has all the emotion and conceptual integrity that the music of melancholy and reverence does in the second. I can’t conceive of anyone else creating this music, unless Delius has been writing with Bowie on the other side.”


About NEC Jazz

NEC’s Jazz Studies Department is one of the top jazz education programs in the world. It was the brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became president of the Conservatory in 1967. He soon hired saxophonist Carl Atkins as the first department chair, as well as other greats including NEA Jazz Master George Russell, pianist Jaki Byard and Ran Blake. The foundation of its teaching and success begins with the mentor relationship developed in lessons between students and the prominent faculty artists. In addition to its two jazz orchestras, faculty-coached small ensembles reflect NEC’s inclusive approach to music making, with ensembles focused on free jazz, early jazz, gospel music, Brazilian music, and songwriting, as well as more traditional approaches to jazz performance.

Students are encouraged to find their own musical voices while making connections and collaborating with a vibrant community of creative musicians, and ultimately to transform the world through the power of music. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz, while the faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters.


About Entrepreneurial Musicianship at NEC

NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department complements the conservatory education with the resources and tools integral to building a life in music: creative and critical thinking, communication, financial management, artistic programming, audience development, and more. EM is available to students through individual advising, experiential learning, career services, and opportunities to incubate new work.


Grow Your Art: A Music and Business Residency was made possible thanks to a generous gift from an NEC supporter.

  • NEC Jazz Orchestra
  1. Schneider | The Pretty Road

  2. Schneider | Data Lords

  3. Schneider | Walking by Flashlight

  4. Schneider | Gumba Blue

  5. Schneider | Sputnik

  6. Schneider | Choro Dançado


    NEC Jazz Orchestra

    Aaron Kaufman-Levine, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone. clarinet
    Ben Mizach, alto saxophone, flute, alto flute, piccolo

    Ian Buss, tenor saxophone, clarinet
    Chris Ferrari, tenor saxophone, clarinet
    Joey Rosin, baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet

    Miles Keingstein
    Michael Brehm
    Zoe Murphy
    Simone Trovato

    Joseph Dies
    Matthew Vezey
    Elias Canales

    Luke Sieve

    George Behrakis, piano
    Gabriel Soileau, accordion
    Pritesh Walia, guitar

    Chris Worden, double bass
    James Nadien, drums

    Stephanie Borgani
    Jekaterina Sarigina