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Miguel Zenon: A Closer Look At Puerto Ricans In The U.S.

Miguel Zenon at WBUR. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Miguel Zenon at WBUR. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Miguel Zenon, a talented saxophone player, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A Berklee graduate, professor of jazz at New England Conservatory, and 2008 MacArthur Genius Award winner, Zenon is known for effortlessly blending two often-contradictory poles — that of innovation and tradition.

Zenon’s new multimedia project is called “Identities Are Changeable: Tales From the Diaspora.” It explores the lives of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. and is based on seven interviews the artists conducted with Puerto Ricans living in New York. Zenon will perform this piece on Friday at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.


Jose Masso, host of WBUR’s Con Salsa


See Miguel Zenon on Friday, February 22nd at Jordan Hall in Boston.  More information here.

Miguel Zenon performs “Identities Are Changeable: Tales From the Diaspora”


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  • Boffalo

    when looking up the word diaspora I find a common element in the ever expanding term.  that of the desire to return to the homeland.  is this true for the Puerto Ricasn living in mainland USA? Since they are US citizens isn’t this their homeland? maybe one day the status of the island can be clarified.

    But I will continue to attach to the definition of diaspora the more ancient one “a people sent away from their homeland by the government at that time, who still hold the cultural attachment to it and the desire to one day return.”  I think it is great that Puerto Ricans have come to the mainland.  They have a vital culture, heritage and strong family life. But they, unlike others were not blocked from returning to their homeland for 2000 years.  Maybe the word diaspora should be reserved only in certain circumstances and another word like relocating used her?

    • Omisumo

      The first puerto ricans that traveled to the mainland were sent away by the US government.They thought we had too many people in the island. It was part of their plan in transforming the economy of the island from an agricultural one to an industrial.

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