Jazzmobile: The Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra
Created in 2009 and led by distinguished trumpeter, jazz historian, and music educator, Steven Oquendo, The Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra (SOLJO) is a force to be reckoned with. This bold big band is made up of 19 superbly talented guardians of Latin music. SOLJO’s repertoire features Afro-Cuban palladium era salsa mambo and salsa classics that pay homage to the genre’s originators, while simultaneously injecting a fresh interpretation that has intrigued and captivated new fans of all ages and backgrounds. SOLJO’s sophisticated use of free improvisation, dissonant harmonies, fusion rhythms, and creative arrangements has dispelled stereotypes surrounding Latin music and Latin Jazz, and ensured that the essence of the music continues to thrive.
SOLJO’s members hail from all five boroughs of New York City and beyond, and members have individually performed with a wide array of international artists, including Ray Santos, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, Cheo Feliciano, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Wynton Marsalis, Hector Lavoe, Benny Golson, Eddie Palmieri, Jon Faddis, Marc Anthony, Dave Valentín, Arturo Sandoval, Destiny’s Child, Candido Camero, Bobby Sanabria, Juan Luis Guerra, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ray Barretto and a host of others. SOLJO has been featured at a variety of venues, including the David Rubenstein Atrium, Pregones Theater, Lehman College, Hostos Community College, the infamous SpanishHarlem 111th street “Old Timers” festival, the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Jazzmobile Concert Series, Jazz Power Initiative, and the Sugar Hill Music Festival.
Jazzmobile's mission is to present, preserve, promote and propagate America's classical music, Jazz. Founded in 1964 by National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, pianist, Dr. Billy Taylor and philanthropist and arts administrator, Ms. Daphne Anstein, Jazzmobile is the first U.S. not-for-profit arts and cultural organization created just for Jazz. Since the beginning, Jazzmobile has been bringing high quality Jazz performances and education programs to area residents, tourists and other visitors, reaching over 4,000,000 people living or visiting New York City. Their national programs have brought them to other cities in the US; and the 'Super Jazz Band' had us touring cities in Europe and Japan. Whether on the street, in a park or at a major concert hall here or abroad, Jazzmobile works in partnership with like-minded organizations to present high quality Jazz performances that enrich the culture and imbue new life into the surrounding area.
Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America is a free outdoor festival that welcomes all New Yorkers to experience the city’s vibrant arts and culture. The series provides a platform for extraordinary artists and serves as a vital outdoor venue for a wide array of New York’s cultural institutions.
On the Lawn
Bring your own picnic or purchase food and drinks from tents on the east side of the lawn. Attendees can enjoy cuisine from the five boroughs with a rotating line-up of artisanal vendors curated by Hester Street Fair.
Stout NYC also offers giant pretzels, gourmet popcorn and other light bites as well as a selection of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.
Bryant Park lends out hundreds of free blankets on a first-come, first-served basis, or bring your own cotton or fleece blanket. To protect the lawn, please do not sit on waterproof materials such as plastic tarps, yoga mats, or inflatable chairs.
Take a seat in one of the pre-set chairs on the lawn or grab a chair from the gravel. You can use a chair anywhere in the park except for the center lawn "blanket zone".
Find a parachute, giant Jenga, and more fun on the east side of the lawn at select events.
We love dogs, but dog urine can leave the lawn with bald spots. Dogs are welcome on the gravel and bluestone, but please do not bring dogs on the lawn.
Performances are cancelled when it is unsafe to be outdoors. In some cases, the lawn may be too wet to open but the performance may continue. Follow @bryantparknyc on Twitter and Instagram for day-of event updates. You can also check the lawn status on the bryantpark.org homepage.