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Miguel Zenon: Identities Are Changeable

Alto saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón is one of the most decorated jazz musicians of his generation, as measured by Grammy nominations, poll placements and MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships. He is important as a conceptualist. His eight recordings as a leader have created diverse, revelatory interactions between jazz and the musical culture of Puerto Rico.

His new album concentrates on one idea: national identity as experienced by the 1.2 million New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent. It is Zenón’s first venture into composing and arranging for a large ensemble. His working quartet (Luis Perdomo/Hans Glawischnig/Henry Cole) is expanded by five saxophones, four trumpets and three trombones.

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