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A Grammy for Miguel Zenón

The saxophonist and assistant professor of jazz was honored for his work on the Latin jazz album El Arte Del Bolero Vol. 2.

Miguel Zenon holding a saxophone on his lap
Courtesy of Miguel Zenon

Nobel Prizes and other scientific honors are nearly routine at MIT, but a Grammy Award is something we don’t see every year. That’s what Miguel Zenón, an assistant professor of music and theater arts, has won: El Arte Del Bolero Vol. 2, which he recorded with the pianist and composer Luis Perdomo, received the Grammy for best Latin jazz album in February.

Miguel holding his Grammy

“I’m incredibly happy and honored with this Grammy win,” says Zenón, a renowned saxophonist. “We’ve been making albums for a long time, so it’s extremely rewarding to earn this recognition.”

“The Latin American Songbook is so vast and varied that it naturally lends itself to limitless explorations,” Zenón wrote in the album’s liner notes. “We purposely looked beyond the Caribbean (exploring composers from México, Venezuela, and Panamá, for example) because we wanted to emphasize the point that these songs deserved to be explored and recognized for what they are, beyond labels, categories, and regionalisms.” 

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has recorded and toured with musicians including Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, Kenny Werner, Bobby Hutcherson, and the SF Jazz Collective. He joined the MIT faculty in 2023, and his many accolades include 12 Grammy nominations and a 2008 MacArthur “genius” grant.

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