Wednesday, December 16, 2015


World-renowned Minnesota-born, New York-based composer/orchestra leader Maria Schneider has produced another Grammy-nominated CD, The Thompson Fields, nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble.  
The album spotlights many of today's most gifted instrumentalists, including tenor saxophonist, Donny McCaslin, who is singled out this year with his own Grammy nomination for his solo on Schneider's composition, "Arbiters of Evolution."

Schneider has received yet another Grammy-nomination for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals, for her work with David Bowie on the song, "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime.)" Released in November of 2014, this single on Bowie's career-spanning compilation CD, Nothing Has Changed also featured Donny McCaslin on tenor – and McCaslin's work with Bowie has continued.  Just this month, Bowie released the first single, "Blackstar," that will be on a full album by the same name that largely features McCaslin. That recording will be released January 8th, 2016.

Schneider is one of the rare musicians to win a Grammy in both jazz and classical categories.  Her album Winter Morning Walks received three "Classical" Grammy Awards in 2013 for Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Winter Morning Walks), Best Classical Vocal Solo (Dawn Upshaw) and Best Engineered Album, Classical (David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer).

Schneider also received a 2007-Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for "Cerulean Skies."  In 2004, Schneider made history with her first Grammy for Concert In the Garden, the first album with Internet-only sales to receive a Grammy.  The album was released through ArtistShare, the first Internet-crowd-funding label/site in existence.  And significantly, Concert In the Garden was also the first "crowd-funded" album to win a Grammy, before the term "crowd-funding" was even invented.  At that time, ArtistShare had labeled it "fan-funding." Schneider has continued to "fan-fund" her recordings and commissions ever since.

Inspired by her success through ArtistShare where she maintains control and ownership of her work, Schneider has become a strong advocate for music creators and performers, having testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property in April of 2014, and also speaking out against Spotify and streaming in general, on CNN.

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