Miguel Zenón

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Miguel Zenón
Birth name Miguel A. Zenón
Born (1976-12-30) December 30, 1976 (age 39)
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Saxophonist
Instruments Alto saxophone
Website miguelzenon.com
Members Luis Perdomo, Hans Glawischnig, Henry Cole

Miguel Zenón (born December 30, 1976) is an alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader, music producer and educator living in New York City, USA. He is a multiple Grammy nominee,[1] and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship[2] and a MacArthur Fellowship.[3]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miguel Zenón received his first musical lessons from Ernesto Vigoreaux in the Residencial Luis Llorens Torres, a housing project in San Juan where he spent most of his childhood.[4] He then attended the Escuela Libre de Música, where he was trained for six years on classical saxophone by Angel Marrero.[5]

Later life and career[edit]

He graduated from Berklee College of Music and from the Manhattan School of Music, eventually settling in New York City. As a sideman, he has worked with The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersh, Kenny Werner, Guillermo Klein, David Sánchez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, Ray Barreto, Jerry Gonzalez, Jeff Ballard, Bobby Hutcherson, Steve Coleman and others.

He has released nine recordings as a leader, including Esta Plena (2009) and Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (2011), both nominated for a Grammy.[citation needed]

Zenón is a founding member of The SFJAZZ Collective, a group whose past and current members include Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Brian Blade, Nicholas Payton, Dave Douglas, and Eric Harland.[6] He also served as one of the resident artistic directors for the first two seasons (2012–2013) of the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, California.[7]

As a composer, he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York State Council for the Arts,[8] Chamber Music America, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation,[9] Jazz Reach,[10] Peak Performances[11] and PRISM Quartet,[12] among others. Zenón has been featured in articles on publications such as The New York Times,[13] The Wall Street Journal,[14] The Los Angeles Times,[15] The Chicago Tribune,[16] Jazz Times,[17] Boston Globe,[18] Newsday,[19] Bloomberg Pursuits,[20] as well as appearing on the cover of Downbeat Magazine on two occasions (2010 and 2014).[21][22] He has also topped the Rising Star Alto Sax category of the Downbeat Critic's Poll on four different occasions[23] and was chosen by both the 2012 Jazz Times Reader's and Critic's Poll as the top Alto Saxophonist of the year.[24]

In 2003, he taught and performed in West Africa as part of the Kennedy Center's Jazz Ambassador program.[25] Since then, he has taught at institutions such as The Banff Centre,[26] Berklee College of Music, Siena Jazz,[27] Conservatorium Van Amsterdam,[28] Conservatoire de Paris, Barnard College, University of Manitoba, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, UMass-Amherst[29] and the Brubeck Institute.[30] He is also a permanent faculty member at New England Conservatory of Music.[31]

In 2011, Zenón founded Caravana Cultural, a program which presents free-of-charge jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico.[32]


as Leader
as Sideman
  • Kenny Werner, Coalition (September 2014)/Half Note Records
  • Julien Labro, From This Point Forward (May 2014)/Azica Records
  • Bobby Avey, Authority Melts For Me (May 2014)/Whirlwind Recordings
  • Jeff Ballard Trio, Time's Tales (February 2014)/Okeh Records
  • SFJAZZ Collective: Wonder - The Songs of Stevie Wonder (2013)/ SFJAZZ Records
  • SFJAZZ Collective: Live SFJAZZ Center 2013 - The Music of Chick Corea & New Compositions (2013)/SFJAZZ Records
  • Alexis Cuadrado, A Lorca Landscape (September 2013)/ Sunnyside Records
  • Luis Perdomo, Links (May 2013)/ Criss Cross Jazz
  • SFJAZZ COllective, Wonder: The Songs of Stevie Wonder (2012)
  • Andy Montañez, Sueño (November 2012)
  • David Gilmore, Numerology - Live at The Jazz Standard (September 2012)
  • Guillermo Klein, Carrera (May 2012)/Sunnyside Records
  • Miles Okazaki,Figurations (May 2012)/ Sunnyside Records
  • Edmar Castaneda, Double Portion (March 2012)
  • Henry Cole & The Afrobeat Collective, Roots Before Branches (March 2012)
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2011 8th Annual Concert Tour (September 2011) SFJAZZ Records
  • Aaron Goldberg & Guillermo Klein, Bienestan (June 2011)/ Sunnyside Records
  • Adam Cruz, Milestone (April 2011)/ Sunnyside Records
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2010 7th Annual Concert Tour (October 2010) SFJAZZ Records
  • Antonio Sanchez, Live In New York At The Jazz Standard (August 2010) CAM Jazz
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2009 6th Annual Concert Tour (October 2009) SFJAZZ Records
  • Miles Okazaki,Generations (2009)/ Sunnyside Records
  • Paoli Mejias, Jazzambia (2008)
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2008 5th Annual Concert Tour (October 2008) SFJAZZ Records
  • Guillermo Klein, Filtros (2008)/Sunnyside Records
  • Hans Glawischnig, Panorama (January 2008) Sunnyside Records
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2007 4th Annual Concert Tour (July 2007) SFJAZZ Records
  • The Jason Lindner Big Band,Live at The Jazz Gallery (May 2007) Ansic Records
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2006 3rd Annual Concert Tour (January 2007) SFJAZZ Records
  • Brian Lynch, Spheres of Influence Suite (2006)Ewe Records
  • Miles Okazaki,Mirror (2006)
  • Paoli Mejias, Transcend (2006)
  • SFJAZZ Collective,SFJAZZ Collective 2, (March 2006) Nonesuch Records
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2005 2nd Annual Concert Tour (January 2006) SFJAZZ Records
  • Edsel Gomez, Cubist Music (January 2006) Zoho Music
  • Charlie Haden & The Liberation Music Orchestra, Not In Our Name (September 2005) Verve
  • Mingus Big Band, I Am Three (June 2005)
  • SFJAZZ Collective, SFJAZZ Collective (May 2005) Nonesuch Records
  • Brian Lynch, 24/7 (April 2005) Nagel Heyer
  • Gilson Schachnik, Lampiao (2004) Candid
  • The Sound of New York Jazz Underground (December 2004) Fresh Sound New Talent
  • Chiara Civello, Last Quarter Moon (February 2005),Verve
  • SFJAZZ Collective, Inaugural Season 2004(August 2004)
  • Charlie Haden, The Land of the Sun(August 2004),Verve
  • David Sanchez, Coral(August 2004)/Sony
  • Luis Perdomo, Focus Point(September 2004)/RKM
  • Paoli Mejias, Mi Tambor(2004)
  • Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra, Welcome to New Life(2003)/Sphere
  • Hans Glawischnig, Common Ground(2003)/Fresh Sound New Talent
  • The Jinga Quintet, A Day Gone By (2003)/Fresh Sound World Jazz
  • Ray Barretto, Hommage to Art Blakey (2003)/Sunnyside
  • Quite Sane, The Child of Trouble Times (2002)/Rykodisc
  • Edu Tancredi y el Bandon 33, Ongoing Dreams (2002)/Fresh Sound
  • Guillermo Klein, Los Guachos 3 (2002)/Sunnyside
  • Mika Pohjola, Landmark (2002)/Blue Music Group
  • Sebastian Weiss, Momentum (2001)/Fresh Sound New Talent
  • William Cepeda, Branching Out (2001)/Blue Jackel Entertainment
  • David Sanchez, Travesia (2001)/Columbia
  • Greg Tardy, Abundance (2001)/Palmetto Jazz
  • Stephan Crump, Tuckahoe (2001)/Accurate
  • David Sanchez, Melaza (2001)/Columbia
  • Either/Orchestra,More Beautiful Than Death (2000)/Accurate
  • Gilson Schachnik, Raw (2000)/Brownstone
  • Gabriel Rodriguez, Beginning (1999)
  • Edu Tancredi & Bandon 33, (1998)/Brownstone

Album Reviews[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.marsalismusic.com/news/miguel-zenon-receives-two-grammy-nominations
  2. ^ http://www.gf.org/fellows/16313-miguel-zenon Archived May 27, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Miguel Zenón". MacArthur Fellows Program. MacArthur Foundation. 27 January 2008. 
  4. ^ http://www.noticel.com/noticia/165265/el-genio-del-jazz-que-salio-de-llorens-torres-galeria-y-video.html
  5. ^ https://vimeo.com/103838670
  6. ^ http://www.sfjazz.org/sfjazzcollective
  7. ^ http://jazztimes.com/articles/131440-concert-review-miguel-zen-n-at-the-sfjazz-center-may-22-25
  8. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/05/arts/jazz-review-inspired-by-the-complexities-of-back-country-troubadours.html
  9. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/arts/music/04zeno.html
  10. ^ http://www.jazzreach.org/mainstage-concerts-featuring-metta-quintet.html
  11. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/arts/music/the-saxophonist-miguel-zenon-at-montclair-state.html
  12. ^ http://www.prismquartet.com/?concerts=heritageevolution-2-prism-quartet-w-tim-ries-miguel-zenon-at-symphony-space
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/arts/music/albums-by-neil-young-bette-midler-and-miguel-zenn.html
  14. ^ http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304854804579234584233061164
  15. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/11/saxophonist-miguel-zenon-mines-puerto-rican-songbook.html
  16. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-jazz-fest-finale-20140902-column.html
  17. ^ http://www.miguelzenon.com/articles/mz_jazztimes.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2013/02/21/miguel-zenon-lets-his-rhythms-follow-changing-culture/0R8IDr7u80vYQprqv0pvyL/story.html
  19. ^ http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/miguel-zenon-turns-traditional-puerto-rican-sounds-into-innovative-jazz/
  20. ^ http://www.miguelzenon.com/articles/The%20Art%20of%20the%20Tux%20-%20Bloomberg%20Pursuits.pdf
  21. ^ http://www.miguelzenon.com/articles/MZ_Downbeat.pdf
  22. ^ http://www.miguelzenon.com/articles/Zenon_DownBeat_December_2014.pdf
  23. ^ http://www.downbeat.com/default.asp?sect=stories&subsect=story_detail&sid=1021
  24. ^ http://jazztimes.com/articles/76240-the-2012-expanded-critics-poll
  25. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/200306110196.html
  26. ^ http://www.banffcentre.ca/faculty/faculty-member/3107/miguel-zenn/
  27. ^ http://photos.allaboutjazz.com/gallery_image.php?id=119740
  28. ^ https://www.toovia.com/place/amsterdam-netherlands/jazz-department-conservatorium-van-amsterdam
  29. ^ http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/saxophonist-miguel-zenon-perform-oct-18
  30. ^ https://brubeckinstitute.wordpress.com/category/news/
  31. ^ http://necmusic.edu/faculty/miguel-zenón
  32. ^ http://www.miguelzenon.com/caravana_cultural.php

External links[edit]