BJO25 with Maria Schneider

In 2018 the Brussels Jazz Orchestra celebrates its 25th birthday. A quarter century of BJO – that’s an incredible number of productions and people we’ve worked with. Of the many memorable performances BJO has had up to now, those with American composer/arranger/conductor Maria Schneider have been the most magical. We’re honoured to be able to celebrate this special birthday with her. We’ll do so with a series of concerts in Belgium and abroad between 10 and 15 October 2018.  Maria herself is celebrating 25 years of being a recording artist in 2018, so there will be two cakes!

Brussels Jazz Orchestra and multiple Grammy winner Maria Schneider first worked together in 2000, and have done so many times since then. The venues where they have played together include Jazz Middelheim and North Sea Jazz Festival. Even though she has her own jazz orchestra, working with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra inspires her, Schneider says, and does justice to her colourful music.

The feeling is mutual. Over the years, Brussels Jazz Orchestra has had the opportunity to experience how Schneider’s subtle, sensitive way of composing and conducting has helped to shape the sound of the 21st-century large jazz ensemble. In these inspiring partnerships, the BJO was the performer conveying her unique sound, her melodic and harmonic ingenuity and her huge passion for the jazz orchestra.

By now it’s been 10 years since Maria and BJO were on stage together. Maria hasn’t been resting on her laurels since then: she’s added a total of 3 more Grammys to her shelf in 2014 and 2016, in addition to the 2 she already had. The BJO25 birthday concert series will be a fine reunion. Maria will conduct and Brussels Jazz Orchestra will play a selection of her impressive oeuvre, including lots of new repertoire.

Compositions, arrangements and conductor: Maria Schneider



Maria Schneider (b. 1960, Windom, USA) is a renowned composer, arranger and conductor. She worked for and with Gil Evans, and since 1992 she has had her own Maria Schneider Orchestra, with which she is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls. In addition, she is greatly in demand as a guest conductor, and is commissioned to compose and arrange. Critics have called her music majestic, magical, passionate and impossible to categorise. Schneider has developed her own personal style of composing in which she often blurs the boundaries between genres. Besides her Grammy Awards in jazz and classical music, she won another one for her work with David Bowie. In July 2018, Schneider could add a NEA Jazz Masters Award to that list.

Brussels Jazz Orchestra celebrates 25th anniversary with Maria Schneider (VRT NWS)