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Saxophone sensation Miguel Zenón is the guest of today’s episode of the Jazz Spotlight Podcast!

A Puerto Rico born, New York City-based multi-Grammy nominee alto saxophonist, he has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. Chosen as “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” by both the 2012 Jazz Times Reader’s and Critic’s Poll, he’s known for being a founding member of the SF Jazz Collective, as well as a bandleader, composer, music producer and educator.

He joins us as part of the special series of interviews recorded at Pori Jazz Festival 2015 to talk about the memories of his music education, the current state of jazz and to discuss his latest album Identities Are Changeable.


Today’s Guest

Miguel Zenón

Credits: MiguelZenon.com

Miguel Zenón is a critically-acclaimed, multi-Grammy nominee alto saxophonist, composer and producer known for being a founding member of the SF Jazz Collective, as well as for being a talented bandleader.

Hailing from San Juan (Puerto Rico), and now based in New York City, he’s a Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music graduate. Throughout his career, Miguel Zenón has performed and recorded with the likes of Joe Lovano, Charlie Haden, Kenny Warner and Joshua Redman, among others.

In addition to publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Jazz Times and the Los Angeles Times, he has been featured on the cover of Downbeat Magazine twice (in 2010 and 2014). He’s recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship and was named “Alto Saxophonist of the Year”, in 2012, by both the Jazz Times Reader’s and Critic’s Poll.

Miguel Zenón is also very active as an educator, having performed and taught in Africa, Europe and Puerto Rico – where he founded Caravana Cultural, program that presents free-of-charge jazz to rural areas of Puerto Rico.

His latest album, Identities Are Changeable is a musical work about national identity, as experienced by the Puerto Rican community in the NYC area.



In This Episode, You’ll Hear About

  • The story behind Miguel Zenón’s latest record Identities Are Changeable
  • His memories of his music education
  • The state of music education and jazz, according to Mr. Zenón
  • His advice to young musicians, a book and movie recommendation



Artists, Schools and Resources Mentioned:


Thank Miguel Zenón and Connect With Him on Twitter!

Thank you @miguelzenon for the inspiring #jazz talk! Click To Tweet