No matter how jaded you become about "the state of jazz" it's always reassuring to encounter Maria Schneider, in one form or another. If there is a more pure musical spirit, I've yet to meet him or her. Schneider is someone who is always open to life's beauty, and filled with the power to be able to interpret her feelings in music.
She is the subject of the latest "listening to music with..." feature in the New York Times—an occasional feature in the paper, which is also available for free online.
I had the pleasure of being on a panel with her a couple of years ago, discussing sexism in jazz, and can attest that she's one of the most articulate people in the business. If you're in New York in the next couple of weeks be sure to catch her band at The Jazz Standard.
Photo by John Fowler.