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Alumna Maria Schneider Named 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master

July 11, 2018

Maria Schneider (BM, 1983, composition, student of Dominick Argento) was named a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts bestows the nation’s highest honor in jazz—the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships—on individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form. Today, the NEA announced the four newest recipients of this lifetime honor—Bob Dorough, Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider, and Stanley Crouch.

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, she is unique in having written classical works as well, even stepping into rock through a collaboration with David Bowie.

The 2019 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert—produced in collaboration with the Kennedy Center, whose artistic director for jazz is Jason Moran—will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 8 pm at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall and also will be streamed live. The concert will feature performances in honor of the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters and will be free and open to the public.

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 153 fellowships to great figures in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and George Wein. The full list of NEA Jazz Masters and materials about them—including videos, podcasts, NEA Jazz Moments audio clips, and more—are available at Learn more