Maria Schneider Orchestra

Feb. 16
7:30 p.m.
Big Band, Jazz

Acclaimed worldwide for her uncommonly rich music and 18-piece jazz orchestra, composer, arranger, and conductor Maria Schneider is a native of Windom, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and a student of Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer. Her latest album, The Thompson Fields, was inspired by Schneider’s home turf in southwestern Minnesota, and she captures the beauty, mystery, and drama of that landscape with evocative, painterly strokes, tapping stellar soloists (including saxophonist Donny McCaslin, pianist Frank Kimbrough, and accordionist Gary Versace) to suggest a lilting pre-dawn stroll down a country lane (“Walking By Flashlight”), life teeming in a lush summer native prairie (“The Monarch and the Milkweed”), and the turbulent spectacle of a summer storm (“Nimbus”). The orchestra is Schneider’s instrument, from which she coaxes nuanced power, complex emotions and lithe grandeur.