May 23, 2023

Bryant Park


Experience the world premiere of this new piece by percussionist Javier Diaz, whose studio credits include Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. Commissioned by the American Symphony Orchestra, this chamber music composition incorporates stylistic elements from music across the Americas and takes us on a journey through history, spaces, and generations. It evokes the idea of ancestral sounds, and it is inspired by traditional musics from the Western Hemisphere: ancient songs from the Afro-Cuban tradition, Mexico, the African-American tradition, Venezuela, Haiti, and a “merging” between a J.S. Bach chorale and a Venezuelan Merengue.

America UNBOUND is a unique artistic experience that exalts the human condition and underlines the importance of multicultural influences in the shaping of the musics of the Americas. This new work is eclectic, with a robust compositional design: the American continent unbound through a journey of musical histories and intergenerational melodies, making palpable the universality of sound, word, and song. Performed by a chamber ensemble of ASO musicians (violin, percussion, double bass, clarinet and trumpet), featuring GRAMMY-nominated Imani Winds’ oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz.

This performance is part of a free chamber music series in partnership with Bryant Park with programs curated by ASO musicians. Music-lovers will find a limited number of first-come, first-served chairs set up to enjoy an after-work respite with live music.

The ASO’s Chamber Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


May 23, 2023
5:30 PM
Bryant Park


Javier Diaz (b. 1976)
Suns and Moons of a New World

I. Preludio de la Gran Sabana (Prelude of the Great Plains)
II. Mis Muertos Cantan (All My Dead Sing)
III. Concierto Barroco (Baroque Concerto)
IV. Domingos Alvares, A Priest of Sakpatá in Eighteenth-Century Brazil
V. Sinfonía de Cámara (Chamber Symphony)


Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe, English horn, voice
Shari Hoffman, clarinet
John Sheppard, trumpet
Javier Diaz, percussion
Shiqi Zhong, percussion
Pauline Kim Harris, violin
Pete Donovan, bass