Miguel Zenon Quartet
From bubbling rhythms and engrossing tunes to traditionally-rooted subjects and musical forms, the music of Puerto Rico native Miguel Zenón is the height of Latin jazz. Composer, improviser, saxophonist and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Zenón combines the sounds of his homeland with contemporary complexity and innovation to create “an entirely new jazz language for the 21st century” (MacArthur Foundation). His records are an immersive experience, animating cultural soundtracks such as the intoxicating plena tradition and the centuries-old jíbara.
Zenón collaborates with long-standing quartet members Austrian bassist Hans Glawischnig, Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo and Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole. A lover of complex mathematical systems, Zenón has developed a highly specialized compositional approach shared now between the members of this incomparable band. Their music is as approachable and kinetic as it is erudite and exploratory, a relic of the social history that inspires so many of Zenón’s touchstones. On the new album “Sonero,” Zenón’s liquid alto tone and his quartet’s seamless ensemble playing brings to life the songs of salsa singer and songwriter Ismael Rivera, again pulling regional influences into a worldwide exchange. While visiting The Clarice, Miguel Zenón will lead a Jazz Clinic and Ethnomusicology Colloquium with students of the School of Music.