14th Annual Herb Pomeroy Memorial Concert
Featuring saxophonist-composer Miguel Zenón
MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble & MIT Alumni Jazz Band
Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director
This annual concert honoring Herb Pomeroy (1930-2007) MIT’s “Father of Jazz,” features saxophonist-composer and multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón, who is currently the instructor of MIT’s Jazz Advance Music Performance class/ensemble. The special concert will feature music associated with Herb Pomeroy including works by Ellington and Charlie Parker, as well as music of Zenón, Monk, Mingus, and others, and performances by the MIT Alumni Jazz Band.
The concert will feature a special tribute to the late Héctor "Tito" Matos (1968-2022), master percussionist and champion of the plena genre.
Please consider donating to the La Goyco Community Cultural Center in Tito’s memory. He founded the center with his wife, Mariana, in 2021. Click here to learn how to contribute.
Learn more about Tito Matos.
Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists and composers of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Jazz and his many musical influences.
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has built a distinguished career as a leader, releasing fourteen albums under his own name. In addition, he has crafted his artistic identity by dividing his time equally between working with older jazz masters and the music’s younger innovators–irrespective of styles and genres. The list of musicians Zenón has toured and/or recorded with includes: The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, David Sánchez, Danilo Pérez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Kurt Elling, Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos, The Jeff Ballard Trio, Antonio Sánchez, David Gilmore, Paoli Mejías, Steve Coleman, Brian Lynch, Jason Lindner, Dan Tepfer, Miles Okazaki, Dan Weiss, Ray Barreto, Andy Montañez, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, The Mingus Big Band and Bobby Hutcherson.
As a composer he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York State Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, NYO JAZZ , The Logan Center for The Arts, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, MIT, Jazz Reach, Peak Performances, PRISM Quartet and many of his peers.
Zenón has been featured in articles on publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg Pursuits, Jazz Times, Jazziz, The Boston Globe, Billboard, Jazz Inside, Newsday and Details. In addition he topped both the Jazz Artist of the Year and Alto Saxophonist of the Year categories on the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll and was selected as the Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (when he was also recognized as Arranger of The Year).
ABOUT MIT FESTIVAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
The MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble (MIT FJE) was founded in 1963 by Boston jazz icon Herb Pomeroy and led since 1999 by Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr. This advanced 18 to 20-member big band/jazz ensemble is comprised of outstanding MIT undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide range of disciplines. An advanced combo is formed from the membership of the MIT FJE. MIT FJE performs traditional and contemporary jazz ensemble literature, including student compositions and new works written for the MIT FJE by major jazz composers. Improvisation is a prominent part of the MIT FJE experience. MIT FJE has released five professional recordings including its major jazz label debut on Sunnyside in 2015, Infinite Winds, which received a five-star review from DownBeat and was chosen by the magazine as one of its “Best Albums of 2015 Five-Star Masterpieces.”
The FJE has a long history of performing original music by MIT students and composers from around the world. Since 2001, it has presented over 50 world premieres. Among others, Mark Harvey, Herb Pomeroy, Jamshied Sharifi, Ran Blake, John Harbison, Chick Corea, Joe Lovano, Gunther and George Schuller, Kenny Werner, Don Byron, Steve Turre, Magali Souriau, Guillermo Klein, Chris Cheek, Miguel Zenón, Dominique Eade, and Luciana Souza have collaborated with the MIT FJE. In January of 2019 the FJE participated in a highly successful cultural exchange, touring Puerto Rico with Miguel Zenón, presenting concerts in various venues and also STEM workshops in middle and high schools.
Learn about the MIT FJE’s collaboration with Grammy-winner Jacob Collier in this Emmy-winning documentary. Watch the Emmy-nominated documentaryThe Great Clarinet Summit, featuring MIT FJE. See an overview of MIT FJE’s recent tour of Puerto Rico. Watch MIT FJE and Sean Jones perform an original composition by MIT student Alan Osmundson and Warren Wolf perform Heal! by MIT pianist-composer Peter Godart. MIT FJE participated in MIT's 2021 virtual Commencement, performing Diary of a Pandemic Year. See an overview of MIT FJE’s history here.
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