It’s hard to imagine a violinist as versatile as Daniel Bernard Roumain. Professionally, he’s worked with elementary school students and scored tracks for ESPN. He has collaborated with both avant garde composer Philip Glass and pop icon Lady Gaga. Musically, his work is even more genre-bending: The man can play any kind of classical piece, lead bands, and infuse his creations with urban and global rhythms. Stringed instruments and hip-hop don’t often mix, and one DBR performance will make you wonder why not.
On the last day of February, DBR performs a one-night engagement at the First Unitarian Church, along with The Humanist Septet. Entitled “Redemption Songs and Sonatas,” the concert incorporates themes of ethnic pride and social justice, speaking in part to DBR’s own Haitian-American ancestry. Never heard Bob Marley and the Israeli national anthem in the same set? Now you can, along with many other spirit-lifting surprises.
“Redemption Songs” is one of many productions presented by FirstWorks, the performance arts series, which will continue through the end of April. FirstWorks is a rare opportunity to see musical masters who haven’t yet become household names. “Redemption Songs” performs February 29 at the First Unitarian Church of Providence.