• Saxophonist Miguel Zenón performs with pianist Laurent Coq at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
    Hide caption
    Saxophonist Miguel Zenón performs with pianist Laurent Coq at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • The Dafnis Prieto Sextet plays the Harbor Stage at the Newport Jazz Festival. That's Peter Apfelbaum on the melodica and Prieto behind the cymbal.
    Hide caption
    The Dafnis Prieto Sextet plays the Harbor Stage at the Newport Jazz Festival. That's Peter Apfelbaum on the melodica and Prieto behind the cymbal.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR

1 of 2

View slideshow i

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Miguel Zenón And Dafnis Prieto On JazzSetWBGO

Miguel Zenón And Dafnis Prieto On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/166674367/205407510" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

In 2008 and 2011, respectively, Miguel Zenón and Dafnis Prieto received MacArthur Fellowships — known as "Genius Grants" — from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. They were cited for their achievements in expanding boundaries and combining vocabularies. And you can hear them in action from Newport on JazzSet.

First, Zenón and co-composer Laurent Coq lead a quartet in music from their new suite Rayuela (in English: hopscotch). It's named for the 1966 novel by Julio Cortázar. The author is fascinating himself: He was born in Brussels in 1914 and raised in Argentina; he then worked in Paris as a translator for UNESCO, wrote literature and played trumpet. He died in 1984.

Miguel Zenón loves every page in Cortázar's imaginative, stream-of-consciousness book (which the novelist suggested could be read from front to back or by hopscotching through the chapters). The movements in the musical suite are for various characters and locations, and we hopscotch through three. The complete Rayuela suite is on the new album from the Sunnyside label.

Around the turn of the century, Dafnis Prieto "came over from Cuba and promptly placed every rhythm section in New York City on notice," writes Patrick Jarenwattananon of NPR Music. The drummer's rhythmic embrace is global: In 2011, he taught and studied for six weeks at the Swarnabhoomy Academy of Music near Chennai in India. His drumming is high-energy, sunny and polyrhythmic, yet there's more than rhythm in his writing for this ensemble. The three-horn harmony and lines provide some of the greatest listening pleasures.

With funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (Doris Duke herself liked to go to Newport), the 2012 edition of the Newport Jazz Festival commissioned Prieto to compose "Two for One." Before and after the commission, the band plays from his album Taking the Soul for a Walk on Dafnison Music.

Zenón Set List
  • "Talita"
  • "Traveler"
  • "El Club de la Serpiente"

All music by Coq and Zenón.

Zenón Personnel
  • Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone
  • Laurent Coq, piano
  • Dana Leong, cello and trombone
  • Dan Weiss, percussion and tablas
Prieto Set List
  • "The Sooner the Better"
  • "Two for One"
  • "Until the Last Minute"

All music by Prieto.

Prieto Personnel
  • Dafnis Prieto, drums
  • Ralph Alessi, trumpet
  • Felipe Lamoglia, alto saxophone
  • Peter Apfelbaum, tenor sax and melodica
  • Manuel Valera, piano
  • Yunior Terry, bass
Credits

Recording Engineers: Antonio Oliart and David Tallacksen with Michael Downes; Assistant Surround Sound mixes by Antonio Oliart and Duke Markos.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Monty Alexander. Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Monty Alexander On Piano Jazz

The Jamaican-born pianist, known for his rhythmic approach, joined Marian McPartland in 1991.

Monty Alexander In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482469803/482492744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Return Of The Jazz Harp

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda are bringing the ancient instrument back to the music.

Return Of The Jazz Harp

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482494560/482495987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Alan Clare. Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

toggle caption Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

In 1990, the British pianist joined host Marian McPartland from the BBC's London studios.

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/480295874/480633264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dena DeRose. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

In a 2001 session, the singer and pianist joined host Marian McPartland for a program of standards.

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/479740933/479741803" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

Historian and cornetist Dick Sudhalter lends perspective on the great clarinetist and bandleader.

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/478858076/478859776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tania Maria. Jean-Baptiste Poulain/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jean-Baptiste Poulain/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

The Brazilian pianist and singer mixes frenetic originals with Antônio Carlos Jobim interpretations.

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477960098/477961996" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Catherine Russell. Marv Goldschmitt/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Marv Goldschmitt/Courtesy of the artist

Jazz Night In America

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The singer assembles a vocal trio to take on a book of music she once sang with her mother.

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477822438/477824662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jim Ferguson. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

The singing bassist presents original songs and standards in a session from 2001.

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477064541/477065827" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top