and composer Miguel Zenón. Last year, Zenón was a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, also called the
genius grant. Remarkably, in 2008, he also received a Guggenheim Fellowship for musical composition,
making Zenón the fi rst jazz musician to receive both awards in the same calendar year.
Esta Plena, a product of his Guggenheim Fellowship, reinterprets plena, a traditional Afro-Caribbean
music from Puerto Rico, with the sensibility and techniques of modern jazz. Initially, what drove these
projects was a personal desire to know more about my own culture, he says. After I left Puerto Rico, I
immersed myself in jazz for a very long time so I wasn t really dealing with Puerto Rican music. I had been
exposed to it growing up, but it wasn t until I began writing my own music that I really started to pay close
attention to it. That s when I decided to explore this music and fi nd out more about my roots.
Esta Plena features Zenón s long-standing quartet Luis Perdomo on acoustic piano, Hans Glawischnig
on bass, and Henry Cole on drums, spectacularly augmented with Héctor Tito Matos, Obanilú Allende,
and Juan Gutiérrez on vocals and panderos (hand-held single-head drums).