The annual Western Invitational Jazz Festival is two days of performances and master classes in jazz music for a spectrum of musicians, from those in high school ensembles, to college groups, to full professionals. This year, the thirty-fifth festival featured Miguel Zenón as its guest artist.
A multiple Grammy nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow, Miguel Zenón is widely considered to be one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation. Zenón has been repeatedly recognized as an important composer in jazz, receiving dozens of commissions, awards, and grants.
His works often explore the boundaries between Latin American folkloric music and American jazz. The leader of his own quartet, and a founding member of SF Jazz Collective, he appeared in concert with the Western Jazz Quartet, held masterclasses, and coached young ensembles during his residency at WMU March 13-14, 2015.
Cara Lieurance talked with Miguel Zenón and Western Jazz Quartet members Tom Knific and Andrew Rathbun on the morning of the 35th Annual Western Invitational Jazz Festival.