National Sawdust's Discovery Festival

August 24, 2020

Excited to be one of the winners of the National Sawdust's Digital Discovery Festival New Works Commission. Looking forward to writing a new piece for National Sawdust Ensemble.

"her letters" digital premiere

August 06, 2020

"her letters" for solo violin was composed as part of the #GLFCAMGigThruCOVID digital World Premieres.

Each composition was donated especially for this cause by GLFCAM alumni to be premiered by solos, duos, or quartets of performers. Each pairing worked together on the piece while sheltering at home across the United States and abroad. 

"her letters" was recorded at home by Julia Suh.

"Never was the way" on scorefoller

March 02, 2020

"Never was the way" for amplified ensemble was selected as one of the FollowMyScore 2019 Call for Works. The piece was premiered by TAK Ensemble + cellist Meaghan Burke on March 23, 2019, at the ARCH, UPenn.

"Mirrors in the voids" review

February 28, 2020

This beautiful and special edition of the magazine "La palabra y el hombre" was made to celebrate the 90th year anniversary of the Xalapa Symphony, who did the Mexican premiere of my work "Mirrors in the voids" under maestro Eduardo Leandro. 

The piece was reviewed by composer/writer Itza Garcia, who remarks on the importance of performing the music of our time/place.

celebrate the 90th year anniversary of the Xalapa Symphony, who did the Mexican premiere thanks to maestro

Eduardo Leandro



February 12, 2020

Two of my orchestral works are featured now on the Vienna-based portal, "nomus21."

It seeks out and presents symphonic music by living composers. Check it out!

"RETRO" premiere by Medellin Phil

November 23, 2019

Last but least concert as the 2019 composer-in-residence for the Medellin Philharmonic. The orchestra will be performing my 25-minute long piece "RETRO". I'll be again performing the electronics on stage.  The program includes Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Dvorak's Symphony 9.

"Infrastructures", for string quartet

November 14, 2019

Member of the Medellin Phil will be performing my second string quartet "INFRASTRUCTURES". The program includes Beethoven's Symphony 1. On this occasion, the audience will be sitting very close to the orchestra, and also the full orchestra will be on the stage during the performance. Such a cool idea! I wish I could be there!

Tour in Germany with Apply Triangle

October 24, 2019

Apply Triangle's program, New York Counterpoint includes several pieces for flute, clarinet, piano, and electronics. I'm so glad I'll be touring with this amazing ensemble and group of friends.

Tour: New York, Magdeburg (SinusTon Festival), Weimar, Leipzig, and Dresden. 

"Behind a wall of illusion", Colombian premiere

October 10, 2019

Medellin Phil will be performing my recent orchestral piece "Behind a Wall of Illusions". The program includes Beethoven's Symphony 8

Colombian Composers Collective (C3) in Austin

September 20, 2019

The inaugural concert of the Colombian Composers Collective (C3) will take place in Austin. Glad to be working with the ensemble, Hear No Evil. The program will include pieces by Sergio Cote, Diana Rodriguez, Felipe Henao, Nicola Aguia, Jose Martinez, and myself. The concert was possible thanks to the Rainwater Innovation Grant by The University of Texas at Austin. Stay tuned for more about our collective.

"Azul" for orchestra and Medellin Phil

August 03, 2019

"Azul", the second movement of my concerto for orchestra and electronics, will be pre-premiered by the Medellin Philharmonic, with Colombian conductor Juan Pablo Valencia. The first time ever I'll be performing electronics on stage! The program includes Beethoven's Symphony 5 and Strauss' Horn Concerto with outstanding Stefan Dohr.

"Behind a wall of illusion" premiered by Orchestra of St. Luke's

July 19, 2019

The inaugural DeGaetano Composition Institute culminated with world premieres for chamber orchestra by participants Viet Cuong, José Martinez, Liza Sobel and myself. 

"CADENZA" for orchestra, Colombian premiere

June 01, 2019

So excited for my inaugural concert as the 2019 composer-in-residence for the Medellin Philharmonic. The orchestra will be performing my piece "CADENZA". The Brazilian conductor Alexandra Arrieche will be conducting. The program includes Higdon's Percussion Concerto and Villalobos' Bachianna No. 7.

"Mirrors in the void" by Xalapa Symphony

April 05, 2019

So excited for the upcoming Mexican premiere of my piece "Mirrors in the Void" (2017) by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa and maestro Eduardo Leandro conducting.
What a cool program: Xenakis' "Peaux, de Pleyares" and Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring."


2019 composer-in-residence for Medellin Phil

January 28, 2019

So thrilled to be selected the 2019 composer-in-residence for the Medellin Philharmonic. The roles include composing a large piece, "Concerto for orchestra and electronics", and programming another orchestral and chamber pieces, plus workshops and lectures in the city of Medellin.

Orchestra of St. Luke's DeGaetano Composition Institute

January 22, 2019

As part of the institute, I will write a new piece for the Orchestra of Saint Luke's to be performed at the The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City on July 19th

Bogotá Philharmonic Prize: Frack[in]g for orchestra

November 02, 2018

So thrilled to be awarded with the Bogotá Philharmonic Prize in Composition for my recent piece, Frack[in]g for orchestra. The premiere will take place in 2019.

multimedia opera "Simulacrum" Premiere

June 08, 2018

"Simulacrum" was premiered in the 3LD Arts & Technology Center.

Featuring music by  Peter Kramer, Yangzhi Ma, Meng WangLongfei Li, Reiko Fueting, and James Diaz.

Librettist Marianna Staroselsky, director Arthur Makaryan, projectionist Wenqi Eric Li, sound designer Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie, vocalists Lucy DhegraeNathaniel Sullivan, and Nina Dante. 

Pierre Lidar, photography.


Learn more


Nicolas Flagello Award and Saul Braverman Award

May 11, 2018

So thrilled to be awarded the Nicolas Flagello Award and the Saul Braverman Award for outstanding achievement in n Composition and Music Theory, respectively, by the Manhattan School of Music.

Graduate Recital at MSM

May 05, 2018

I'm so glad to invite you all to an evening of my music. One hour of music, four pieces and around twenty great and cool musicians. 

Please join us! More 

"Saturn Lights", percussion concerto: CD Release

February 03, 2018

The Colombian Ministry of Culture has released the CD National Prizes in Composition 2015-16, featuring James' Concerto for percussion trio and orchestra, "Saturn Lights".


To listen to  

Electronic Music Concert at MSM

April 20, 2018

Electronic Music Concert At Miller Hall, Manhattan School of Music.

"false/six/states/interludes/and" for bass flute, piccolo, and electronics, premiered by Paul Mizzi. 

Composer Fellow for The Loretto Project, Longleash Trio

April 20, 2018

Selected composer fellow for the Loretto Project 2018. I'll write a new piece for Longleash Trio. Very looking forward to meeting Kate Sope and the other fellow composers!


"INFRASTRUCTURES" for string quartet at MSM

March 27, 2018

MSM composers concert:
"INFRASTRUCTURES" for string quartet at Greenfield Hall, MSM.

Molly Germer, violin 1

Julia Suh, violin 2

Lena Vidulich, viola

Thea Mesirow, cello

THROUGH THE NOISE Concert at Opera America

March 05, 2018

THROUGH THE NOISE Contemporary Concert Series II at Opera America, NYC.
"A song for" for solo violin, premiered by Julia Suh. 

"CADENZA" premiered by the MSM Composers' Orchestra

February 16, 2018

"CADENZA" for orchestra was based on the Riverside Church Tower's structural design. The piece is dedicated to Reiko Fueting.


Performed by the Manhattan School of Music Composers Orchestra, conducted by Maestro George Manahan.


"Eclosion", for orchestra: CD Digital Release

February 02, 2018

CD New Colombian Music for Orchestra, Vol 6 by the EAFIT Symphony Orchestra.

Cecilia Espinosa, conducting.

featuring James' piece "Eclosion" (2014).


Frances Richard Fellow at GLFCAM

January 28, 2018

Composer selected for the 2018 programs of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Composition fellows will be working with Grammy-nominated duo  ZOFO to create original new music over the span of this year with onsite readings and master classes provided in beautiful Boonville, CA, San Francisco, and Columbia, South Carolina.

to know more

"Simulacrum", multimedia opera: Official Trailer

December 15, 2017

A collective of composers, musicians, choreographers, and visual artists, Path New Music Theater, curates and produces contemporary new media theater.


Our first project, Simulacrum is an opera based on the libretto Loved for parts by playwright Marianna Staroseklsky, to be premiered in the Spring of 2018.


This project features the music of 6 different composers as well as choreographers and visual artists, a collaborative effort that will run together to create a single narrative about a woman who is struggling with the loss of her leg and the acceptance of a new prosthesis.


Learn more

"Mirrors in the Void" by the Nashville Symphony

November 14, 2017

Nashville Symphony Composer Lab & Workshop 2017

 Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Giancarlo Guerrero, Conductor,

Aaron Kernis, Program Director.

Learn more


"Orion III": USA Premiere

November 14, 2017

Concert Band, the State University of New York at Fredonia

Raymond Stewart, director. 

To watch live stream of the concert Here



"INFRASTRUCURES" for string quartet: Premiere

October 16, 2017

THROUGH THE NOISE, composers collective

Riverside Church Hall

Molly Germer, violin

Julia Jung Un, violin

Jay Julio, viola

Thea Mesirow, cello


"Mirrors in the Void" selected by the Nashville Symphony

July 03, 2017

Nashville Symphony Composer Lab & Workshop 2017 (Next November, TN)

Giancarlo Guerrero, Conductor,

Aaron Kernis, Program Director and Jury Chairman.

"From Infinity" with the ACO

June 23, 2017

26th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

American Composers Orchestra

George Manahan, Music Director and Conductor

Cary Hall at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music

Premonicion (Film score), at Huesca Festival

June 18, 2017

Huesca Festival, Spain.

Cacho Pallero Award 

Premonicion, short film by Leticia Akel Escarate, Director.

Underwood New Music Readings: Composer Spotlight

June 21, 2017

Q&A about From Infinity for orchestra

American Composers Orchestra's 2017 Underwood New Music Readings

History Forum: "Mirrors in the Void"

May 18, 2017

Talk about compositional process, notation and indeterminacy in

Mirrors in the Void for Orchestra

National University of Colombia



"From Infinity" selected by the American Composers Orchestra

May 12, 2017

American Composers Orchestra's 2017 Underwood New Music Readings

The DiMenna Center for Classical Music

"But space is not mere emptiness" performed at Bossi-Comelli Hall

April 23, 2017

For Marimba and electronics

Performed by Caitlin Cawley

Electronic Music Concert

Bossi-Comelli Hall

Manhattan School of Music

"INFRASTRUCURES" for string quartet: Second place, Manhattan Prize

April 06, 2017

Second Place and Honorable Mention 

Manhattan Prize 2017

Premiere: "Infinity Lines"

April 04, 2017

Infinity Lines for flute and piano

Leia Slosberg, flute and Brian Daurelle, piano.

Composers Concert

Miller Hall

Manhattan School Of Music

Premiere: "Mirrors in Void"

March 24, 2017

Mirrors in the Void for Orchestra

National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia

Jose Luis Dominguez, conducting

Young Colombian Composers Workshop, Plataform 28-2017

Fabio Lozano Hall

"Mirrors in Void" selected by the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia

March 01, 2017

Young Colombian Composers Workshop, Plataforma 28-2017.

Mirrors in the Void for Orchestra

"Eclosion" recorded by the EAFIT Symphony Orchestra

January 28, 2017

Eclosion for Orchestra

Recording Session

EAFIT Symphony Orchestra

Cecilia Espinosa, conductor

CD: New Colombia Music for Orchestra 2017


CD Release: Composers of the National Conservatory of Colombia

January 13, 2017

New Music Ensemble,

National University of Colombia.

Lienzo - Eliana Echeverry

Tres Aforismos - José Guillermo Martínez

Dinámicas de un meteorito - James Diaz

Cavatina - Gustavo Parra

Petits entreteniments subtils - Moises Bertrán

"Empty Room" Performed at Miller Hall

December 05, 2016

Empty Room for four speakers

Electronic Music Concert

Miller Hall

Manhattan School of Music

Composition Forum at MSM

November 03, 2016

Talk about form, orchestration and process of Catarsis for Orchestra

Manhattan School of Music

Sponsorship by the Banco de la Republica de Colombia

June 14, 2016

Selected the winner of the Young Music Talents 2016 by the Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

Read the interview (Spanish)


Orchestration Forum

May 06, 2016

Talk about compositional process of Concerto for Percussion Trio and Orchestra

Orchestration vs. Composition. 

Javeriana University 



Composer Portrait

March 15, 2016

Talk about compositional process and influences. 

Universidad Distrial FJC.



Premiere: "Lines of Acid Dreams"

December 17, 2015

by Camará Ensemble

Commissioned work for

Closing Concert of Música de Agora na Bahia-Brazil.




Recording Session: "Saturn Lights"

December 09, 2015

Concerto for percussion trio and orchestra, Saturn Lights

Recording Session

Mateo Sepulveda, conducting

REC Symphony

Javeriana University


Coral and Symphony Composition Award: "Stories and Shadows"

November 16, 2015

Coral and Symphony Composition Award by the Bogotá Philharmonic

40x40 Program

Stories and Shadows for Wind Ensemble

Premiere: "Floating Mirrors"

November 13, 2015

Young Performers Series 2015

Camilo Chaparro, Cello

Sebastian Avendaño, Piano

Luis Ángel Arango Hall

New work finished: "Lines of Acid Dreams"

September 14, 2015

Commissioned by Camará Ensemble and MAB


National Prize of Music in Composition

July 31, 2015

by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia for his 

Triple Percussion Concerto

Premiere: "Orión III" for Large Wind Ensemble

May 07, 2015

Opening Concert of Contemporary Music Festival of Pereira

Wind Ensemble of Pereira

Mateo Sepulveda, Conductor

Latin-American Composition Prize Piero Bastianelli

April 12, 2015

Mention of honor and commision of new chamber music work

Premiere: "Sidereal Inflections" commissioned by the DUO Percutrom

November 26, 2014

Sidereal Inflections for trumpet and vibraphone

Commisioned by the DUO Percutrom

Juan Fernando Avendaño, trumpet

Gabriel Galvis, vibraphone

Olav Roots Hall

Selected on Plataforma 28-2014

November 24, 2014

by National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia for his work

Reflections of a Radioactive Sky for Orchestra

Thomas Goldka, conducting.

Reading Sessions of New Colombian Composers, Plataforma  28.

Premiere: "Eclosión" for Orchestra

July 23, 2014

The reopening of the Colón Theatre

National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia

Claudio Cruz (Brazil), Conductor

Premiere: "Cristales de Mercurio" for Percussion Trio

July 21, 2014

Commisioned by International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordao

Percussion Ensemble of Festival

Eduardo Leandro (Brazil), Conductor

National Prize of Music in Composition for the Reopening of Teatro Colón

June 27, 2014

by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, Teatro Colón, National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia for his piece Eclosión