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Eric Schneider

Long an institution in the Chicago jazz scene, tenor-saxophonist Eric Schneider is an unsung jazz talent who, without garnering headlines, has been playing top-notch jazz for 30 years. Schneider originally did not plan a career as a musician, earning a degree in advertising in 1976 from the University of Illinois and planning to become a copywriter. But he had played his saxophone throughout college and found it easy to find work after graduating from college. He gained some recognition when he was a member of the Earl Hines Quartet during 1979-82 (also playing alto and clarinet), and he toured with the Count Basie Orchestra during 1982-83. After that, Schneider decided to stop touring and settle in Chicago. Schneider has since worked in a wide variety of settings in the Chicago area including regularly at Andy’s for years. Along the way he has performed with Benny Goodman, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney and Billy Eckstine, recorded with Jim Beebe’s Chicago Jazz Band (back in 1979), used Earl Hines as a sideman on his Eric and Earl album in 1981, and appeared on records with Count Basie, Sir Charles Thompson and Jeremy Monteiro in addition to playing with virtually all of the top local jazz musicians and singers. Eric Schneider also teaches at the Merit School of Music.