WHEN: Thursday, December 3, 2015, 6 - 8 PM
WHERE: Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street, Room 509
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Identities Are Changeable, the latest album from Miguel Zenón, is as much an oral history of Nuyorican experience from the Puerto Rican-born saxophonist, composer, bandleader, producer, and educator, as it is a distinct musical accomplishment from the Grammy Award winner, Guggenheim and Mac Arthur fellow. The project was inspired by the idea of national identity as experienced by the Puerto Rican community in the United States, specifically in the New York area. All the music on the album is written around a series of interviews with several individuals, all of them New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent. The narrative created by these conversations gave birth to all the compositions on the record, with audio excerpts from the interviews weaving in and out each piece. The album, which is also complemented by a video installment by David Dempewolf, features Zenón’s longstanding quartet (with Luis Perdomo, Hans Glawischnig, and Henry Cole) plus a twelve-piece large ensemble comprised of some of the best musicians in jazz today. Identities are Changeable was chosen as one of the best jazz recordings of 2014 by NBC News, NPR, The Boston Globe, Rhapsody, All About Jazz and Jazz News Magazine, among others. Join us for a conversation between writer and OHMA graduate Erica Zora Wrightson and Zenon about his process for turning oral histories into music and listen to samples of the aural tapestry he created.
Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón is widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation. He has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón studied classical saxophone at the Escuela Libre de Música in Puerto Rico before receiving a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Berklee College of Music, and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. In 2003, he was chosen by the Kennedy Center to teach and perform in West Africa as part of their Jazz Ambassador program. Since then, he has given hundreds of lectures and master classes and has taught all over the world. In 2011 he founded Caravana Cultural, a program to present free-of-charge Jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico. Zenón lives in New York City with his wife Elga and their daughter.
Erica Zora Wrightson is a writer, editor, and oral historian based in Los Angeles, and a 2015 graduate of Columbia's Oral History Master of Arts program. For her thesis, she interviewed a number of jazz musicians, club owners, and educators about the shift of narrative in jazz over time.
SPONSORS: This talk is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.
INFORMATION: For more information, please email Amy Starecheski at aas39(at)columbia.edu
THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED