by Rosie G.
February 12, 2023
As a child I grew up listening to Latin Jazz because my Puerto Rican mother loved it and played it, especially while she was cooking. I didn’t know it was Latin Jazz till much later in life but I know I loved it. I came upon this talented Puerto Rican alto jazz saxophonist by chance. Meet Miguel Zenón from San Juan, Puerto Rico who didn’t grow up with any family members who were musicians. He was exposed to different types of music from an early age. He started taking classes in music theory at age 10 and later was admitted to the Escuela Libre de Música. He had classical training on the saxophone and through his friends became interested in jazz.
He moved to Boston in 1996 and attended the Berklee College of Music and was in great company. He met many of the jazz artists we hear today such as Antonio Sánchez, Avishai Cohen, and Panamanian Latin jazz pianist, Danilo Pérez. The latter became his mentor and collaborated on many projects. He made his debut in 2002 with the album, Looking Forward and followed it with his sophomore album, Ceremonial on Branford Marsalis’s record label, Marsalis Music. He has since recorded over a dozen albums with his quartet with his latest album, Música De Las Américas. An incredible album composed about the history of our continent. Miguel is also a teacher and frequently has master classes and is the founder of Caravana Cultural which organizes free jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico. The young jazz musicians in the community join him on stage and this initiative is fully funded and produced by Miguel Zenón himself. Check out his super-talented jazz artist and support independent music and musicians worldwide. Happy listening!