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"Schafer's awareness of when to embellish and when to pull on the reins stands out among the current crop of jazz singers all-too eager to show off their chops at the expense of communicating actual emotion." - Jefferson Public Radio
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About Maria

"Wonderfully vintage yet profoundly new and exciting."

- Musical Memoirs

Vocalist Maria Schafer warmly welcomes jazz listeners swiftly into the 21st century with her polished, soaring vocal style and easy, empathetic charm. Driven by an inquisitive passion for self-discovery through song, Ms. Schafer's sensitive and uncontrived approach to jazz "stands out among the current crop of jazz singers (Jefferson Public Radio)" and is "just the right tonic for jaded jazz ears (Midwest Record)." Instinctually articulate with a remarkable ear, she is an adventuresome songwriter and composer in her own right and mixes influences from jazz, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and folk music realms while serving as a clever custodian of the Great American Songbook with fresh arrangements of silver-worn standards. 

By writing lyrics from her own experiences and engaging directly and intimately with her audience, Maria seeks to convey messages of empowerment, endless curiosity, and physical embodiment of joy through dancing and sometimes vulnerable melodies. A cultivated mixture of Joni Mitchell's introspection, Dianne Reeves' vocal explorations, and Betty Carter's unabashed approach to the truth all serve key roles in both Ms. Schafer's originals and interpreted songs. Her current recording project set to arrive in Spring 2023 will be her first to feature a majority of original songs, offering catchy new standards and beautifully haunting, heart-bearing tunes exploring the vulnerability of love and the catharsis of reveling in lessons learned from failure.

An ardent student of life, Maria first studied science and pre-nursing in college, then moved on to classical and jazz voice studies after a paperwork issue put her science studies on hold. As a student musician she ventured alone to Latvia as a Finalist in the Riga Jazz Stage competition and then after obtaining degrees in music and kinesiology cut her teeth on international stages as the female vocalist touring full-time with The Glenn Miller Orchestra across North America and Japan for two years. She has further developed her musical influences through a deep love of multiple Brazilian music genres and attending workshops and camps centered around folk and world music. Ms. Schafer's two full-length albums feature new-fashioned standards and illuminating originals and can be heard on stations across North America including KKJZ (Los Angeles), KNKX (Washington), KCSU (Colorado), WDCB (Chicago, IL), and CBC Radio in Canada.