“From rock clubs to symphony halls, the composer, musician and performer Daniel Bernard Roumain seems unstoppable.” – New York Sun

Haitian-American musician and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain comes to Fargo-Moorhead to perform his fusion of hip-hop and classical music at MSUM with DJ Scientific.

Prior to the concert on Thursday, Jan. 31, DBR will lead a composition workshop for musicians, using acoustic and electronic methods. The workshop will take place in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts in the morning. At 7:30 p.m. Elan Vytal, aka DJ Scientific, will join DBR on the Gaede Stage for a program called “Woodbox Beats and Balladry.” Vytal will use a variety of turntables and microphones, and DBR will use a six-string amplified violin. The music contains elements of classical minimalism, dance club beats, hip-hop, traditional ballads, and noise. 

Rebecca Sundet-Schoenwald, managing director of MSUM’s Performing Arts Series, says of DBR’s work with DJ Scientific: “The music gets people thinking, but it also gets them on their feet to dance.”

The Boston Globe wrote of DBR’s Sonata for Violin and Turntables, “Both performers brought a combination of unabashed earnestness and quicksilver musical wit.” The Washington Post wrote, “The music was involving, tonal and eminently accessible, steeped in the wash-rinse-repeat cycle of minimalism but sexed up considerably with hip-hop rhythms, jazz riffs and imaginative collaboration.”

DBR, who for years wore yard-long dreadlocks, made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with the American Composers Orchestra performing his Harlem Essay for Orchestra. He would go on to compose works for the Albany Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Dogs of Desire Ensemble; Carnegie Hall; the Library of Congress; and the Stuttgart Symphony. DBR’s music has been performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Memphis Symphony, New World Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Noord Nederlands Orkest, and the Vancouver Symphony, among many others.  His most recent orchestral work, Dancers, Dreamers, and Presidents, is a 2010 Sphinx Commissioning prize and will be performed by the Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and others.

Other recent work includes a third commission for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and a new work for the Atlanta Ballet in collaboration with the choreographer Amy Seiwert and the poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph. DBR earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan under the tutelage of William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty.

Registration for the composition workshop is required. Contact Rebecca Sundet-Schoenwald at 218.477.2178 or email her at sundetre@mnstate.edu.

MSUM students get in free to the evening performance, but must get a ticket from the Box Office in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts. Others may purchase tickets to the Thursday performance, by going to www.mnstate.edu/perform or calling the MSUM Box Office at 218.477.2271 Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $24 for seniors, MSUM faculty and staff, and $12 for non-MSUM students with student ID. Tickets are also available at the door if still available.