Honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music

Honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music

2024 – NEW YEAR - NEW AWARDS PROCESS!
See Awards Page for Details
Maria Schneider Orchestra on March 12

JSJAO Sponsors Maria Schneider Orchestra on March 12

Posted February 10, 2023

The John Stites Jazz Organization in partnership with The Gilmore is proud to present the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. Maria Schneider embodies the values of the JSJAO— professional exceptionalism and commitment to expanding the awareness and appreciation of jazz music. As a composer, arranger, and band leader, Maria Schneider has been a trailblazer for women in jazz since the early 1990s. Her composing style has been compared to a sculptor molding clay, and she uses input from her band members to shape the final composition. She expects the audience to be an active participant in the creative process and not just hear the music but experience it and respond.

Schneider remains relevant in a changing world. In 2004, she created a crowdfunding platform called ArtistShare to release Concert in the Garden. She has testified before Congress regarding copyright laws and the ability of musicians to protect themselves from unauthorized distribution of their music. And in 2020, she released a two-disc album entitled Data Lords, which contrasts the crassness of the digital world with the beauty of the natural world.

John Stites greatly admired individuals who were forces for change and was an advocate for women in music and society. Maria Schneider is a force for change and continues to prove that jazz remains a relevant and significant voice in the world. John would have been pleased that the Maria Schneider Orchestra is The Gilmore’s selection for the 2022-2023 series. Please join us on March 12 at 4:00 pm in Chenery Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to hear this remarkable ensemble. Tickets are available at TheGilmore.org.

Photo by Dina Regine

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Recording with John was always a treat ... his gentle demeanor was deeply appreciated.

Mark Sahlgren

The John Stites Jazz Awards (JSJA) are funded by the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization.

The organization funds advanced studies for emerging and established professional jazz musicians, as well as personal development projects which enhance their career opportunities.