FirstWorks artistic ambassador Daniel Bernard Roumain performs with local legends

Posted 2/27/20

FirstWorks, a Rhode Island non-profit dedicated to building community through world-class arts, will present renowned Haitian-American violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) performing "e;Redemption Songs and Sonatas"e; with the Humanist Septet at

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FirstWorks artistic ambassador Daniel Bernard Roumain performs with local legends

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FirstWorks, a Rhode Island non-profit dedicated to building community through world-class arts, will present renowned Haitian-American violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) performing “Redemption Songs and Sonatas” with the Humanist Septet at The First Unitarian Church of Providence on Saturday, February 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 advance, $35 at the door, with community discounts available. Tickets are available by phone at 421-4278 or online at first-works.org. A pre-show fair will spotlight local social justice groups from 6-7 p.m. in the church’s Parish hall.

Hailed by the New York Times as “about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets,” Haitian-born, Harlem-raised artist Daniel Bernard Roumain joins FirstWorks to perform his “Redemption Songs and Sonatas,” a concert celebrating a worldview of civil rights for all. From songs by Jamaican music icon Bob Marley to the Haitian and Israeli national anthems, “Redemption Songs and Sonatas” is a composer’s view of our desire to define ourselves, our world, and sometimes, one another. DBR is part of FirstWorks’ “Raise Your Voice programming, a season-long project designed to amplify diverse voices and celebrate differences through the performing arts.

“FirstWorks is thrilled to deepen our partnership with Daniel Bernard Roumain to empower collaboration with Rhode Island’s own musical talent,” said Kathleen Pletcher, Executive Artistic Director of FirstWorks. “DBR’s belief in the power of music to effect positive social change reinforces FirstWorks’ mission to lift Rhode Island through the arts.”

DBR has been embedded in Providence’s creative community as FirstWorks’ inaugural Artistic Ambassador during the organization’s 2019-2020 season. His residency spans workshops for students, teachers, and elders, community meals and discussions, and collaborations with local artists toward the creation of new works. DBR performed at PVDFest 2019 and will again join local and international performers at PVDFest 2020, this year taking place June 11-14.

At the evening performance of “Redemption Songs and Sonatas” on February 29, DBR will be joined onstage on by local artists Becky Bass (steel pan, vocals), Alex Chapman (drums), Joe Godfrey (piano), Frederick Jodry (organ), Christopher Johnson (spoken word), Kim Trusty (guitar, vocals), and Jerry Wilfong (bass), together forming The Humanist Septet. The group has been rehearsing with DBR since fall 2019 to develop new material in the spirit of resistance and social change.

The evening performance will be preceded by a Social Justice Fair, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the First Unitarian Church’s Parish Hall. Members of local social justice organizations including The Womxn Project, Hope and Change for Haiti, and Climate Action RI will be on hand to discuss their work and ways to become involved. First Unitarian Church social justice committees will provide homemade baked goods, and The Peace Flag Project will offer a peace flag making workshop.

FirstWorks’ “Raise Your Voice initiative brings world-class artists to Rhode Island for in-depth residencies featuring K-12 educational matinees, artist-led workshops for students and older adults, film screenings, and community engagement programming designed to generate empathy through the arts. “Raise Your Voiceis made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Providence’s Department of Art, Culture Tourism, and the Otto H. York Foundation.

For more information on FirstWorks’ 2020 season, visit first-works.org. Educator and community discounts are available by calling 421-4278.

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