A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miguel Zenón studied saxophone at the Escuela Libre de Musica, then honed his jazz skills at the Berklee School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
His earliest professional work was with Boston's famed Either/Orchestra (he's since played or recorded with a variety of large groups, including the Mingus Big Band, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, the David Murray Big Band, the Jason Lindner Big Band, Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos, and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra), but it was as a key member of fellow Puerto Rican David Sánchez's sextet in the early years of this decade that Zenón developed his craft, his style, and his talents as a composer.
Perhaps his most important collaboration, however, began in 2004, when Zenón was asked to become one of the founding members of the SF Jazz Collective, an octet whose past and present members include Joshua Redman, Bobby Hutcherson, Nicholas Payton, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and Brian Blade. (The group appeared at Center Arts in 2004.) The Collective garnered a coveted spot in the Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star Small Group category in both 2006 and 2007—an honor which, coincidentally, they shared with Zenón’s own quartet.
As a leader, Zenón has released three recordings—with a fourth, Awake, on its way April 1st. Looking Forward, his brilliant debut, was chosen by the New York Times as the number one independent jazz record of 2002. Ceremonial followed in 2004, the same year he won the first of three consecutive awards in the Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star Alto Sax category. Zenón's third album, Jibaro, a tribute to the "Musica Jibara" of Puerto Rico, appeared on many top ten lists, including those of The New York Times, Latin Beat, El Nueva Dia, and the Chicago Tribune. In 2006, the readers of Jazz Times Magazine voted him the Best New Artist of the Year.
The other members of Zenón's quartet--pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and previous drummer Antonio Sánchez (now touring with the Pat Metheny Trio)--are important figures at the crossroads of Latin and contemporary jazz in their own right; each has released a critically acclaimed recording as a leader in the past two years. Current drummer Henry Cole, who shares Puerto Rican roots with Zenón, was named an "outstanding young player to watch" by Modern Drummer magazine.
(Adapted from Zenón's website biography.)
More Information on the Miguel Zenón Quartet:
Tickets ($15 General
Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here
at our website, or
(in late March) at The Metro, People's Records, and The Works.
Miguel Zenón will also
present a FREE public workshop on Tuesday, April 8th at 10:00 a.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on
the HSU campus.
Listen to an audio stream of music by Miguel Zenón: