October 05th, 23h30

Miguel Zénon . Saxofones
Luis Perdomo . Piano
Hans Glawischnig . Contrabass
Henry Cole . Drums

Miguel Zenón (born December 30, 1976) is a Puerto Rican alto saxophonist, composer, band leader, music producer, and educator.  At age 10 he received his first lessons on music theory and solfeggio from Ernesto Vigoreaux. Soon later he was admitted to Escuela Libre de Música, where he was trained for six years on classical saxophone by Angel Marrero. On the 11th grade he was exposed to jazz music by some of his friends at the school and became very interested in the concept of improvisation and on the music of Charlie Parker. Although he had always shown interest in the natural sciences, he declined an engineering scholarship and decided to pursue a career in music.  With funds assured by scholarships he won, Zenón moved to Boston in 1996 to begin his studies at Berklee College of Music.  His classmates included Antonio Sánchez, Anat Cohen, Avishai Cohen, Jaleel Shaw, and Jeremy Pelt.  During his time in Boston, he was heavily influenced by Bill Pierce, Ed Tomassi, and Hal Crook.  It was also during this time that he met Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, who would become a mentor and collaborator.  After graduating from Berklee, Zenón attended Manhattan School of Music, where he received a master’s degree in Performance in 2001, before settling in New York City.  As a sideman, he has worked with SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Guillermo Klein, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, Ray Barreto, Jerry González, Jeff Ballard, Miles Okazaki, Dan Weiss, Bobby Hutcherson, Steve Coleman, Antonio Sánchez…

In 1999 Zenón started getting together with Mexican drummer Antonio Sánchez, Austrian bassist Hans Glawischnig and Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo. With these and other musicians he recorded until 2018 eleven albums as leader.

He topped both the Jazz Artist of the Year and Alto Saxophonist of the Year categories on the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll, was selected as the Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association in 2015 and 2018 and the second Alto Saxophonist of the Year on the Downbeat Critics Poll.

His biography would not be complete without discussing his role as an educator. In 2003, he was chosen by the Kennedy Center to teach and perform in West Africa as part of their Jazz Ambassador program.  Since then, he has given hundreds of lectures and master classes and has taught all over the world at many institutions.  He is also a permanent faculty member at New England Conservatory of Music.  But perhaps what best reflects his commitment to education and cements his growing reputation as a “cultural ambassador”, is a program that he founded in 2011, called Caravana Cultural which main purpose is to present free-of-charge Jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico, making a “cultural investment” in the Island.

Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim & MacArthur Fellow, Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition.  Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz.