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Miguel Zenon

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miguel Zenón studied saxophone at the famed Escuela Libre de Musica; an institution that boasts distinguished alumnus throughout the musical world. Although Zenón listened to and explored the music of Charlie Parker and other jazz greats while in high school, it wasn't until he began his studies at the Berklee School of Music, where he received a scholarship from the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival, that his formal jazz training began.

Zenón excelled at Berklee and received the Berklee Best Scholarship Award, the Frederic Cameron Weber Award and a grant from the Corporation of Musical Arts while in attendance. It was also during this time that he became active in the Boston area jazz scene and gained professional experience with the drummer Bob Moses' Mozamba and the Either/Orchestra.

Upon his graduation in 1998, Zenón received a scholarship to attend the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City where he received his Masters in Saxophone Performance in 2001. The distinguished list of musicians/educators he has studied with include: Angel Marrero, Leslie Lopez, Rafael Martinez, Danilo Perez, Dick Oatts, Dave Liebman, George Garzone and Bill Pierce.

In his very short, but rather illustrious career, the 29 year old Zenón has performed and/or recorded with a quite a diverse array of artists and groups including David Sanchez, Danilo Perez, William Cepeda's Afrorican Jazz, Bob Moses' Mozamba, The Either/Orchestra, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, The Guillermo Klein Big Band, The Mingus Big Band, Charlie Haden, The David Murray Big Band, The Jason Lindner Big Band, Brian Lynch,Bobby Hutcherson, Greg Tardy, Branford Marsalis, Ray Barretto, Steve Coleman, Michele Rosewoman, and Ed Simon, among others.

He has released three records as a leader. The first, “Looking Forward” for the Fresh Sound Talent label, was selected by both The New York Times and TomaJazz Magazine as on of the top 10 Jazz CD’s of 2002.The second, “Ceremonial”, was released in 2004 by Marsalis Music. Zenon was one of the first artists signed by this label, founded by saxophone great Branford Marsalis. Miguel topped the prestigious 2004, 2005 and 2006 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll” for “Alto Saxophone Deserving Wider recognition.”

In addition to touring with his quartet throughout the US and Europe, Zenon’s group was selected in 2003 to travel to Africa as part of the Jazz Ambassador program sponsored by the Kennedy Center and The Department of State. He has been a clinician at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York and at the Diaz Institute in Houston, Texas.

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10
Album Review

Dan Weiss: Even Odds

Read "Even Odds" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Drummer and composer Dan Weiss turns his experiments and percussion exercises into compositions on this trio recording Even Odds. In other words, he composes, not on a piano, but with his drum kit for the twenty tracks heard here. That fact may not be groundbreaking except that Weiss recorded those tracks and sent the music to alto saxophonist Miguel Zénon and pianist Matt Mitchell to contemplate before gathering in the studio to improvise in this overdubbed recording. Weiss' ...

8
Album Review

Dan Weiss: Even Odds

Read "Even Odds" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


To say that “It Is What It Is"--regarding drummer/composer Dan Weiss's feverish first track on the fervently episodic Even Odds--misses the whole point entirely. It could be anything. And within its spacious yet oddly claustrophobic three-and-a-half minutes, evolutions come and go in real time. And real time is a bitch if you cannot keep up. It is a wild statement but one that needs to be said, especially at the onset of music such as Even Odds. It ...

41
Album Review

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol: Turkish Hipster: Tales From Swing To Psychedelic

Read "Turkish Hipster: Tales From Swing To Psychedelic" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Those who believe the term Turkish Hipster has to be an oxymoron should get to know composer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, a Turk whose seventh album, subtitled “Tales from Swing to Psychedelic," is about as hip as can be. Sanlikol knows where is going but chooses to get there in his own special way, using every weapon in his musical arsenal to create vivid sound pictures whose jazz components rest solidly within a Middle Eastern framework that set them apart from ...

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Live Review

Miguel Zenon and Luis Perdomo at Solar Myth

Read "Miguel Zenon and Luis Perdomo at Solar Myth" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Miguel Zenon and Luis Perdomo Ars Nova Workshop Solar Myth Philadelphia, PA August 23, 2023 This magnificent performance, by two of the finest Latin-based jazz musicians around today, blew the lid off a “myth" about a seemingly funky-grungy club called Solar Myth. The club's exotic name with its reference to the Sun Ra albums (Sun Ra Arkestra, The Solar Myth Approach, Vols 1 and 2, Actuel 4, recorded 1970-1971; released ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

John Daversa, Linda Carone & Miguel Zenón

Read "John Daversa, Linda Carone & Miguel Zenón" reviewed by Joe Dimino


From one of the hottest jazz musicians on the planet, we begin the 790th Episode of Neon Jazz with saxophonist Miguel Zenón and a song off his Grammy-nominated 2022 album Music De Las Americas. From there, we stick with the Puerto Rican flavor with Juan Tizol teamed with the legendary Harry James. From there, we move into a deeply spiritual song from a good friend of the show Vienna Carroll. We also delve into a heavy helping of good modern ...

9
Album Review

Miguel Zenon: Musica De Las Americas

Read "Musica De Las Americas" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon has made a career out of exploring his Puerto Rican roots, with albums like Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music, 2011), Tipico (Miel Music, 2017) and Yo Soy La Tradicion (Miel Music, 2018). With Musica De Las Americas he broadens his vision to celebrate the history of the American continents, north and south, as well as the multiplicity of America's Atlantic Ocean islands, to delve into the history of this expanse of lands--before and ...

4
Live Review

Miguel Zenon at SFJAZZ Center

Read "Miguel Zenon at SFJAZZ Center" reviewed by Roy Strassman


Miguel Zenon SFJAZZ Center San Francisco, CA May 5, 2022 With its fabulous acoustics and visual projection capabilities, the SF Jazz Center is the ideal venue for Miguel Zenon's performances of his recent Golden City Suite project. Zenon conducted interviews in several of San Francisco's ethnic communities—Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, African American, and others in preparation for composing this work. A panoramic projection display on the walls provided visual context for each community associated with its ...

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Performance / Tour

New York's Smoke Jazz Club Announces Line-up For July Including Miguel Zenon, Tierney Sutton, Ron Carter And More

New York's Smoke Jazz Club Announces Line-up For July Including Miguel Zenon, Tierney Sutton, Ron Carter And More

Source: AMT Public Relations

Rated the #1 Jazz Club in New York City (Secret NYC), Smoke Jazz Club welcomes some of today’s leading artists to the stage during the month of July. Making their Smoke Jazz Club debuts are alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, trumpeter Tony Glausi, and vocalist Tierney Sutton. Many jazz legends return to the Smoke stage including Ron Carter, Louis Hayes, Billy Harper, and more. Please scroll down for the complete schedule or visit SMOKEjazz.com. Thu-Sun Jun 29-Jul 2 Russell Malone Quartet ...

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Performance / Tour

Internationally Renowned Saxophonist/Composer Miguel Zenón And His Quartet Tour To Ten European Cities From October 30 To November 13, 2015

Internationally Renowned Saxophonist/Composer Miguel Zenón And His Quartet  Tour To Ten European Cities From October 30 To November 13, 2015

Source: Braithwaite & Katz Communications

“Two words: cultural treasure!” —Sandra Guzman, NBC News Internationally acclaimed saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenón performs in ten European cities from October 30 to November 13, 2015. Zenon will be joined by his quartet featuring drummer Henry Cole, pianist Luis Perdomo and bassist Hans Glawischnig, performing new music as well as music from his highly acclaimed 2014 recording Identities are Changeable, a groundbreaking project focusing on the cultural identity of the Puerto Rican community in NYC. Performance dates: Friday, October 30

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Education

New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab with Miguel Zenon

New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab with Miguel Zenon

Source: Ann Braithwaite

One-Week Intensive Jazz Program for Students Ages 14-18 Sunday, June 21 – Friday, June 26, 2015 Special Guest Artists MacArthur Fellow and Grammy Nominee Miguel Zenón plus NEC Jazz Studies Chair Ken Schaphorst headline the week holding masterclasses paired with evening concerts of their music Students ages 14-18 are invited to explore jazz at New England Conservatory during Jazz Lab, a one-week intensive program for students of all proficiency levels, from throughout the United States and abroad. Instrumentalists and vocalists ...

1

Education

Miguel Zenón On Teaching At New England Conservatory

Miguel Zenón On Teaching At New England Conservatory

Source: Ann Braithwaite

Miguel Zenón, the alto saxophonist and composer who has blended jazz and the music of his native Puerto Rico into one of the most passionate and coherent forms of contemporary expression, exemplifies the new possibilities that jazz envisions in the 21st century. His triumphs of the past decade, at the head of his own quartet and as a founding and ongoing member of the SFJazz Collective, have inspired Zenón to continue pushing creative boundaries. Identities are Changeable is the most ...

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Performance / Tour

Winter at the Annenberg Center Heats up with Grammy-Nominated Latin Jazz Musician Miguel Zenon

Winter at the Annenberg Center Heats up with Grammy-Nominated Latin Jazz Musician Miguel Zenon

Source: AAJ Staff

Philadelphia, PA: Acclaimed Latin jazz saxophonist Miguel Zenón will take the Annenberg Center stage to “create music that is full of life, history, richness, and realness” (All Music Guide). The 2008 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious Genius Award, Zenón possesses a progressive sound that fuses contemporary jazz and Latin rhythms, particularly drawing on his own Puerto Rican heritage. This performance will take place on Saturday, February 16 at 7 PM and 9 PM. Tickets are $20-$45 (prices are subject ...

1

Recording

Guitarist/Composer David Gilmore Releases "Numerology" "Live at the Ja77 Standard" Featuring David Gilmore with Claudia Acua A, Miguel Zenon, Luis Perdomo, Christian McBride, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Mino Cinelu

Guitarist/Composer David Gilmore Releases "Numerology" "Live at the Ja77 Standard" Featuring David Gilmore with Claudia Acua A, Miguel Zenon, Luis Perdomo, Christian McBride, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Mino Cinelu

Source: Two for the Show Media

Numerology Suite is musical exploration into the mystical, divine, and spiritual meaning of numbers, which reflect the creation of the Universe and the underlying structure upon which the material world is built. Music is the language of the Universe, and the elements of music - harmony, melody and rhythm, are all expressions of number. Pythagoras, the father of mathematics, taught that the numbers one through nine represent the universal principles and progressive cycles in life. Here David Gilmore invites the ...

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Performance / Tour

Edmar Castaneda with Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Miguel Zenon CD Release Performance at the Blue Note NYC - 3/6-7/12.

Edmar Castaneda with Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Miguel Zenon CD Release Performance at the Blue Note NYC - 3/6-7/12.

Source: Two for the Show Media

Grammy-nominated harpist Edmar Castaneda will celebrate his sophomore release Double Portion (Arpa Y Vaz, 2012) at the Blue Note on March 6 and 7. The record's title refers to Castaneda's attempt at fusing the music of his native Columbia with the sounds of New York, as well as his use of both the Colombian folk arpa llanera and the traditional classical harp. One each of the recording's ten tracks, nine of which are original compositions, Castaneda plays in solo or ...

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Performance / Tour

Vijay Iyer Trio and the Miguel Zenon Quartet Concert at Berklee Performance Center on Friday, December 9

Vijay Iyer Trio and the Miguel Zenon Quartet Concert at Berklee Performance Center on Friday, December 9

Source: MassJazz: Jazz in Massachusetts

Pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Miguel Zenon are playing in concert at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston's Back Bay on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets to the show are $40-$50 and can be purchased online. The concert is part of the Celebrity Series of Boston, which has been bringing high quality music to Boston since 1938. For a complete schedule of the 2011-2012 season, click here. “Iyer and Zenon are two of the most startlingly original ...

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Interview

Saxophonist Miguel Zenon Interviewed at All About Jazz!

Saxophonist Miguel Zenon Interviewed at All About Jazz!

Source: All About Jazz

At the dawn of the second decade of his career, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón has established himself as one of the most sophisticated and stylish players of the new millennium. In a very short time, Zenón has made his mark as a composer, band leader, educator, and jazz advocate. He has performed and recorded with scores of the scene's most prominent musicians as leader, side man and member of the groundbreaking SFJAZZ Collective, where he is the sole founding member ...

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Video / DVD

Weekend Extra: Miguel Zenon in Spain

Weekend Extra: Miguel Zenon in Spain

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey


Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
Patrick Cornelius
saxophone, alto
Alon Farber
saxophone
Sunhyun Yoo
saxophone, alto
Gabriel Genest
saxophone, tenor
Temidayo Balogun
saxophone, tenor
Orlando Madrid
saxophone, alto

Photos

Concerts

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Even Odds

Cygnus Recordings
2024

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Ricano

Ropeadope
2023

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Turkish Hipster:...

Dunya Records
2023

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Unstuck in Time: The...

Sunnyside Records
2022

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El Arte Del Bolero

Miel Music
2021

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It Is What It Is

From: Even Odds
By Miguel Zenon

A Capoeira Turca (Baia Havası) featuring Anat Cohen

From: Turkish Hipster: Tales From...
By Miguel Zenon

Bokonon

From: Unstuck in Time: The Kurt...
By Miguel Zenon

Tainos y Caribes

From: Musica De Las Americas
By Miguel Zenon

Quítate De La Vía Perico

From: Sonero: The Music of Ismael...
By Miguel Zenon

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