Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Maria Schneider to Release New CD Via Web

Grammy-nominated pianist-composer Maria Schneider will release her first album in four years, Concert in the Garden, on July 1. The recording will be available exclusively through Schneider’s Web site,, which is powered by ArtistShare.

ArtistShare allows its customers a chance to become privy to varying levels of behind-the-scenes artist action. Fans can not only purchase Schneider’s albums, but can also pay for special features like streaming audio and video clips of rehearsals, photo galleries, Schneider’s journal entries and more. Schneider’s Web site will now be the sole source for the purchase of her CDs-none of her recordings, past or present, will be found in stores or retail Internet sites.

This innovative approach to music distribution is meant to combat music piracy and allow Schneider to maintain control over her own music.

“The whole business is rapidly changing,” Schneider said. “I am hoping to pave a better way for future artists. This is a way that benefits both the artist and the fan. It’s win/win.”

10,000 physical copies of Concert in the Garden will be pressed; after those sell out, only downloaded versions will be available. 1,000 copies of the disc will be limited edition, autographed versions.

“Concert in the Garden,” the title composition off Schneider’s new album, was commissioned by Hunter College in New York City and inspired by a poem by Octavio Paz. The composition features Schneider’s usual 17-piece jazz band, and is augmented by accordion and vocal parts. Vocals on the piece are performed by Luciana Souza.

The second composition, a three-part piece entitled “Three Romances,” was commissioned by the University of Miami in 2000, and played by the University Jazz Band under the direction of Schneider in October 2001.

“Buleria, Solea y Rumba,” the final composition, was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center and premiered at the Alice Tully Hall in January 2003. Souza also provides vocals for the piece, and percussionists Gonzalo Grau and Jeff Ballard play flamenco cajon.

Schneider, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, recently won the awards for Composer of the Year and Arranger of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association. In 1995 she was nominated for two Grammy awards for her debut album Evanescence. Her subsequent releases, Coming About in 1996 and Allegresse in 2000 were also nominated for several Grammys. Allegresse was selected by Time and Billboard as one of the Top 10 Recordings of 2000.

Schneider recently collaborated with Phish frontman Trey Anastasio on an arrangement that will appear on the jam band’s upcoming album, Undermind. A conversation between Schneider and Anastasio can be found on Schneider’s Web site.

Originally Published