Dynamic alto saxophonist and a visionary bandleader Miguel Zenón will bring his Quartet to the Wexner Center this Thursday April 19th in conjunction with the 35th annual Ohio State University Jazz Festival.
Miguel Zenón first performed in at the Wexncer Center’s intimate Performance Space in 2006. Since then, he has been honored with one of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious “genius awards” in recognition of his progressive jazz, which plumbs the depths of Latin music–particularly the roots of his own heritage in Puerto Rico–and of his own originality. Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook, the 2011 release featured in the quartet’s concert here, was recently selected as #1 Best Jazz Album of 2011 by NPR, placed in New York Times critic Nate Chinen’s 2011 top ten list, and nominated for a Grammy. Previous outstanding recordings include Esta Plena (2009), in which “the instrumental prowess of Zenón’s playing, the vigor of his compositions, and the sensitivity of his band to Puerto Rican song forms point to new possibilities in jazz” (Chicago Tribune).
For this outing Zenón is joined by the same stellar musicians who perform on Alma Adentro: Luis Perdomo on piano, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and Henry Cole on drums. They’ll stretch out on classics by five of the most important Puerto Rican songwriters in history: Bobby Capo, Tite Curet Alonso, Pedro Flores, Rafael Hernandez, and Sylvia Rexach. Zenón calls these songwriters “the George Gershwins, Cole Porters and Jerome Kerns of Puerto Rican song.” As Nick Chinen’s notes, “the dragonfly speed and lightness of Mr. Zenón’s alto saxophone playing is reason enough to love this meditation on the music of his homeland.”
By the way, Zenón returns to Columbus on June 5 for another jazz concert you won’t want to miss: the local debut of Guillermo Klein, a fantastic Argentine jazz artist, with Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos.
Set up cabaret-style, the Wexner Center Performance Space offers a perfect setting for live jazz. You experience the music up close with superb sound and can sip wine, beer, or a soft drink as you enjoy the show.
Miguel Zenón Quartet
Thursday, April 19th, 8pm
Wexner Center Performance Space
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