Maria Schneider is one of the most important composers of this and the previous century. After completing her studies in 1985, she became the personal assistant to Gil Evans, the man behind Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain (the two masterpieces of Miles Davis). For five years she performed every week with her own band Jazz Orchestra in Visiones, a club in Greenwich Village, New York. Afterwards she began to compose for virtually every orchestra and festival in Europe and beyond. In the past she has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and the Danish Radio Big Band. This year she will appear with her own orchestra, a big band whose lineup has remained virtually unchanged for the past fifteen years and consequently knows Schneider's music inside out. Concert in the Garden was the first album that was only available via the internet and despite that was awarded a Grammy. Her latest album, Sky Blue, earned Schneider the Grammy for the best instrumental composition for the piece Cerulean Skies.