Miguel Zenón “I consider myself a jazz musician,” says Zenón. “It is the music that speaks to me the most and the reason why I became a musician in the first place. But I’m also a Latin American musician from Puerto Rico, and that’s always going to be there and is going to be represented in everything I do, no matter what. The music I write for my band represents these two sides of who I am musically.”
Beginning with his third album as a leader, Jíbaro (2005), and continuing with Esta Plena (2009) and Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (2011), and Oye!!! Live In Puerto Rico (2013), Zenón created a series of thoughtfully framed works that interpret different facets of Puerto Rican culture. Along the way, he became a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what’s been called the “Genius Grant”, placing him at the forefront of a new movement that has brought Zenón to prominence in jazz. But beyond his facility at writing and playing music, there is a great intellectual subject at the center of Zenón’s artistic world: the complexity of Puerto Rican culture.
This event is free and open to the public and is part of SRBCC’s year-long celebration of 45 years promoting Afro-Puerto Rican and Afro-Latin music, arts, and culture.
Miguel Zenón’s residency presented by the University of Chicago will include a community performance produced in partnership with Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center on May 24, 2016. The evening will include an intimate performance with local groups, including Roy McGrath, Buya and Arawak’Opia, SRBCC’s Youth Bomba Ensemble.