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September 23, 2008 - The Aquinas College Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center will welcome internationally renowned jazz composer Maria Schneider to campus for a Wednesday, October 8 lecture entitled “How Does a Woman Make Her Place in the Jazz World?” and a Thursday, October 9 Evening Concert with Maria Schneider and the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra. Both events are free and open to the public.

The October 8 lecture will be held from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Wege Center Loutit Room and the October 9 concert will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Wege Center Ballroom. Free tickets to the October 9 performance will be available at the Circle Theatre Box Office, 1703 Robinson Road SE, from noon to 5 p.m., Monday, October 6 through Thursday, October 9. As quantities allow, four tickets per person will be available. If there are any tickets available after 5 p.m. on October 9, they will be given out at the front door of the Wege Center from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m.

Maria Schneider is a multiple Grammy Award-winning composer of orchestral jazz, whose work has been called “the first truly novel approach to big jazz band composition of the new century,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “Maria Schneider’s jazz is about feeling,” writes The New York Times. “She somehow expresses compassion through tones.”

Schneider is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied composition under Bob Brookmeyer, later working as an assistant to Gil Evans on such projects as the film “The Color of Money.” In addition to her Grammy Awards, including her most recent 2008 win for Best Instrumental Composition, Schneider has been named Composer of the Year and Arranger of the Year (2004) by both the Jazz Journalists Association and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll. Her most recent album – Sky Blue – was additionally named Jazz Album of the Year by the Village Voice Critics Poll.

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