Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue at Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2013

A special event at this year's Melbourne International Jazz Festival, two of the world’s most sought-after contemporary big band composers conduct Australia’s leading jazz orchestra in a groundbreaking Festival exclusive.

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, Evanescence. With that recording, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the unique voices of the group.
Schneider and her orchestra have a distinguished recording career with nine Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards. Her albums. The Annual Downbeat Critics Poll chose her as both "Best Jazz Composer" and "Best Arranger" in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Schneider was also one of the first one of the first artists to use crowd-funding to produce an album.

“Maria Schneider’s music is absolutely beautiful, it’s hard to believe the Orchestra will now be able to share the stage with perhaps the most eminent living big band composer,” says JMO Artistic Director David Theak.
“From the lustrous opening chords of a Maria Schneider concert, you can feel you are swept off your feet and falling through space - but with the certainty that someone with a lot of emotional intelligence is there to catch you." The Guardian