The Doris Duke Foundation announced that 2024 Wells Fargo Jazz series musician Miguel Zenón has received a 2024 Doris Duke Artist Award, the largest prize in the United States specifically dedicated to individual performing artists. The saxophonist, composer, and conceptualist is one of six honorees selected for their exceptional achievement, each of whom is being awarded $525,000 in unrestricted funds and an incentive of up to $25,000 to save for retirement.

“I’m extremely grateful to receive this award along with such a distinguished group of individuals,” said Zenón. “Recognitions like this one inspire us all to keep pushing forward as artists and creators, with open minds and ears.”

The Doris Duke Artist Award was established in 2012 to unlock the power of creativity and to shape our society for the better. The award and associated programming are designed to create conditions in which artists can thrive. In addition to providing a cash prize, the foundation also gives the award winners support including professional development, financial planning and management services, enhanced networking, and performance opportunities. 

A Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow and 2024 Grammy® winner, Miguel Zenón is one of a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, Zenón has also developed a unique voice as a composer and 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 and has released 16 albums under his own name. In addition, he has honed his artistic identity by collaborating with both established jazz masters and the music’s younger innovators, irrespective of style and genre. Zenón has toured or recorded with artists including the SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden and Doris Duke Artists Fred Hersch, and Danilo Perez. He has given hundreds of lectures and master classes worldwide and serves as a faculty member in the music and theater arts department at MIT. In 2011, Zenón founded Caravana Cultural, a program that presents free-of-charge jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico. 

Zenón will perform in Spoleto’s Wells Fargo Jazz series on June 6, 7, & 8 with acclaimed Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo. The duo will be performing sensuous jazz ballads from their Grammy award winning album El Arte del Bolero. Get tickets here.