Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center
Miguel Zenón possesses rare talent, both for the level of his alto saxophone virtuosity and the ability to make complex compositions immediate and accessible. But he’s but one of many who moved to New York City to pursue jazz. And he’s one of over one million New-York-area residents of Puerto Rican origin.
Recently, he interviewed a number of fellow transplanted Puerto Ricans, especially musicians, about their ethnic and national identities. That audio formed the frameworks for a new suite of compositions for quartet and large ensemble, collected on his new album Identities Are Changeable. In advance of the album release this fall, he presents that music with the ‘Identities’ Big Band at the Newport Jazz Festival.