The series was founded in 2012 as part of GEMS' milestone Fifth Anniversary celebrations, and is co-directed by the celebrated soprano Nell Snaidas and Americas Society Music Director Sebastian Zubieta.
In the 2016-2017 season, GEMAS brings together some of the finest early music performers from the region, including lutenists Eduardo Egüez and Ariel Abramovich, sopranos Maria Cristina Kiehr and Nell Snaidas, and Ars Longa de La Habana, in their New York debut, presented by Music Before 1800. Americas Society's vocal ensemble Meridionalis will return to the Festival de Música Antigua Esteban Salas in Havana and travels to the Festival de Música Sacra de Quito in spring 2017.
The mission of GEMAS is to bring remarkable early music from the Americas and the best early music performers from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to New York audiences. Since 2012, the series has presented lutenist Paul O'Dette, Ars Subtiliorspecialists Mala Punica, the Clarion Society, Meridionalis, and The Bishop's Band,among others, at Americas Society's own Salón Bolivar, The Hispanic Society of America, and Trinity Wall Street, as well as the Italian Academy and St Paul's Chapel at Columbia University. Spanish ensemble Musica Ficta released the recording of their New York debut concert at The Hispanic Society of America on the Euromusic label in 2015.