In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s current recommendations, Merit School of Music has closed the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and suspended all in-person activities. Virtual options are now available for summer camps, private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and small group classes. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.

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Faculty & Staff

Jade Maze

Department Chair: Voice (Mentor); Ensemble Director: Vocal Jazz & Contemporary Ensemble, Choir; Faculty: Voice


M.M. - Vocal Performance, Classical



Jade Maze knew music would be her life since the age of five. Early influences included her mother’s extensive jazz LP collection and the funk and pop sounds of the early 70s. Though she always knew she wanted to sing, write music and play the piano, Ms. Maze didn’t actively pursue her goals actively until she was 18.

She began singing professionally at age 19 and her listeners will hear a sophisticated and smooth style, blending elements of jazz, soul, and pop. Her performances span numerous years and locations, including the House of Blues, universities, churches and festivals. She is a member of the Clinard Dance Theatre and Brad Williams Ensemble, and a teaching artist at the Ravinia Festival.

A freelance singer and composer, Ms. Maze teaches vocal technique in Merit’s Instrumental Music program; vocal technique classes and vocal jazz ensemble in the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory; vocal technique for the Midwest Choir in Hammond, Indiana, through Merit’s Bridges outreach program; and private voice lessons. She advocates the importance of integrating a passion for music with vocal technique, and works to bring this about in her students.

A voice department faculty mentor, Ms. Maze earned her Master in Music in vocal performance from Northwestern University and a Bachelor in Arts in vocal performance from Northeastern Illinois University.

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“I love that students can come into the building and focus on what they love and meet like-minded musicians of their own age.”