Jade Maze remembers one of the times that she hit rock bottom: It was the late ’80s, and she was trying to start a band in Santa Barbara, Calif. On a creative kick, she rented a garage where she planned to live and write music full time, but she fell victim to a bait-and-switch scheme. Instead of a tidy garage with a concrete floor, like the model she’d been shown, she was given the keys to a dilapidated, mouse-infested, dirt-floor garage. Before long, she was couch-surfing. Then all her belongings and equipment were stolen from her car. “Everything was gone,” she says. “It put me in a bad place mentally.” When a friend found her walking aimlessly on the beach and asked if she was OK, Maze realized she needed help. “I did not want to fall through the cracks,” she says. “I immediately went to this crisis center and said, ‘Help me!’ “It was a life-changing moment. If I hadn’t realized that I needed help, that I was not in control, I don’t know where I would be today.” It wasn’t the first time Maze ’08 MMus had to overcome a personal crisis. She walked away from a troubled home in Ventura, Calif., at age 15. The harrowing journey that followed — including periods of homelessness and incidents of rape, manipulation and isolation — shaped her life, but it did not define or defeat her. Maze eventually landed on her feet back in her hometown of Minneapolis and devoted herself to music. She toured Germany and France with the Minneapolis Jazz Machine. After going through a divorce and dropping out of college in California, Maze moved to Boston in 1992 and became a jazz and pop headliner. She moved to Chicago in 1994 but stopped playing music altogether in 1998. “I was all over the club scene and touring nationally,” Maze says, “but I was not happy being in circumstances where you don’t see the best of people’s behavior.” That’s when she started writing her memoir, Walk Until Sunrise (2017), about her runaway experience. “The story just kept nagging at me,” Maze says of her award-winning debut. “I didn’t want to write the book, because they’re not pleasant memories, but I felt compelled to. Within the last five years, I was objective enough and healthy enough to really write the story as it ought to be written.” Maze, who lives in Westchester, Ill., says getting an education was the turning point in her life. A former straight-A student, she went back to school, earning her GED in her late 30s and then an undergrad degree from the University Without Walls program at Northeastern Illinois University. Thanks to a partial scholarship, Maze studied voice with Bienen School of Music artist-in-residence Nancy Gustafson ’80 MMus and earned her master’s degree at Northwestern. Within days of graduating, she received a call from the Merit School of Music, a community music school in Chicago that serves talented youth in its tuition-free college-prep conservatory. “It is my duty to push these students hard toward excellence by making them aware of how talented they are and what a responsibility that is,” Maze says. “I give my students — from all walks of life, rich or poor — a reality check, sugar-coating nothing. And if I think they have what it takes to go far, I back up my encouragement by doing my best to infuse them with fearlessness and brazenness that is necessary to pursue a solo performance career. And their efforts are reaping fruit.”” - Sean Hargadon

Northwestern Magazine

Sojourn's single vocal contribution comes from the gifted singer Jade Maze on a melancholy ballad in the 'pop' vein, "I'll Let You Break My Heart Again." Maze's soulful rendition of Williams' words provides a beautiful realization to this recording's pervasive lyrical nature.”

— tradebit.com

Re "Duo" -This CD is impeccable and relaxing. Jade's vocal delivery is honest and the voice has a lot of depth--the lady has something to say. Buddy's guitar on "Always on my Mind" will choke you up. Great romance music. Really nice. My favorite song? "Subtle Moon".” - Walter Rego

— SB News Press

It's swing time with strings as longtime Chicago pianist Bradley Williams presents 12 original tunes performed by his piano trio with a shimmering string quartet on his new release, "Sojourn." Starting things off with a lovely waltz ("Onward and Sideways") featuring cellist Cheng-Hou Lee's long lines, Williams' sparkling piano flourishes and some nifty pizzicato work from fellow quartet members Blaise Magniere and Marie Wang (violins) and Tony Devroye (viola). ..Singer Jade Maze makes her appearance on the only vocal number of the set, "I'll Let You Break My Heart Again" a delightful pop tune that again points out Williams' wide-ranging abilities, while the haunting title track ends this unique gem of a recording. Well-played, written and recorded, Sojourn is a compelling and refreshing recording with a strong sense of nostalgia for the days when melodies and strings were the norm, not the exception. Bradley Williams premieres "Sojourn" live on March 25 at the DePaul University Concert Hall” - Brad Walseth

— jazzchicago.net

Re: Sojourn CD by Bradley Williams... Brad, your new CD is beautiful and Jade sings just great on it. She has a beautiful voice...” - Sheila Jordan
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. championed a message of peace and equality, and people of all backgrounds and ages made their way Monday night to Symphony Center to celebrate it. Founder and director Paul Freeman and his Chicago Sinfonietta's creatively charged programming elevated this annual civil rights tribute to lofty new heights. The orchestra opened with the brief "Celebration!" by Adolphus Hailstork, a colorful Coplandesque setting that evoked the deep American Southwest. The famed Broadway composer Morton Gould set six spirituals to orchestra in his "Revival," which showcased the Sinfonietta's warm, luxuriant strings. An inspiring programmatic inclusion was music by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a black composer/violin virtuoso in Mozart's day, who now rarely finds his way into the concert hall. The Symphonie Concertante in G Major for two violins sang admirably under its soloists Christina Castelli and Melissa White. Their timing and harmony were occasionally imperfect, but these two young violinists each tackled the work's virtuosic passages with a dramatic energy... The show's second half was devoted entirely to stirring spirituals as sung by some 150 silver-gowned choristers from the Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir. Tenor James Hudson's impassioned solo in "Midnight Cry" received the night's longest ovation, and alto Jade Maze's spirited singing in "Anthem of Praise" got all hands clapping. Freeman traditionally closes this tribute concert by having the entire audience join hands to sing "We Shall Overcome." To hear 2,000 people gleefully come together in this affirming benediction would have been just what the good doctor ordered. Copyright © 2008 Chicago Sun-Times” - Bryant Manning

Chicago Sun-Times

...After the intermission was “From the Arctic to the Middle East: Broken Narratives by an American Flamenco Dancer.” This was anchored by the glorious original music by Gibons who performed on violin. Also in his ensemble were Jade Maze, who sang gripping vocals entirely on simple syllables; Alex Wing on stylish contrabass or oud and Javier Saume who offered sly percussion. Gibons’s third stream classical music was memorable, vivid and beautiful and there was fascinating interplay between musicians and dancers, including the musicians sometimes moving and interweaving with the dance troupe.” - M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic

Hyde Park Herald