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August Wilson Center - Front & Center » DBR - “Amplifying African American Voices”

Posts Tagged ‘DBR’

Our Haiti: Words from Daniel Bernard Roumain

Posted in Community, Events, General, Guest Posts on January 25th, 2010 by Shaunda – Be the first to comment
Innovative composer, performer, band leader, artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is not just passionate about the music he births out of his marriage to classical, funk, hip-hop and rock music–this Haitian American violinist is passionate about the country that holds his heritage. Much of Haiti’s Port-Au-Prince has collapsed from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ripped through the region January 12, leaving 200,000 and counting feared to be dead. Since then, DBR, like so many others, has been working feverishly to do whatever he can to help his Haiti.

DBR and the queen of Haitian pop, Emeline Michel, wrote the following post, and wanted us to share it with you.

Our HaitiDaniel Bernard Roumain

At this moment, in this desperate hour, I am overwhelmed with grief for all of those lost, suffering, and struggling with the realities of this deepening disaster. I am not at all certain what my response should be, and I’m gripped by a feeling of helplessness.

Emeline Michel and I are determined to do all that we can for our Haitian brothers and sisters, and we’re grateful that an array of musicians and artists are joining together in a journey of hope towards Haiti’s recovery and rebirth. We are providing websites and links for you to respond immediately, and planning concerts and other special events that will be a march towards the reconstruction and resurrection of our island-nation-one that has given us so much while never asking for anything in return. We will rebuild, we must rebuild, and in doing so, we begin the process of helping and healing those who now need us the most, now, and in the coming months and years.

Nothing is as powerful as the will of a nation to survive, the strength of people to believe, and the miracle of the individual boldly acting towards world-wide change.

–Daniel Bernard Roumain and Emeline Michel

DBR at the August Wilson Center 2/6

DBR at the August Wilson Center 2/6


EDITOR’S NOTE: DBR will be in concert at the August Wilson Center 8 pm Saturday, February 6. In our response to the earthquake, $3 from every ticket sold for this concert will be donated to Brother’s Brother Foundation for Haiti relief efforts.

Also, during hours of operation, the Center is accepting brand new personal items, including baby wipes, non-liquid soap and toothpaste, among other things that Brother’s Brother send to the country.

Explore the Unknown in 2010…You Just Might Like It!

Posted in Events, General on January 5th, 2010 by Shaunda – 1 Comment

Happy New Year!

Many of you are returning back to work after a week or two of family fun, festive feasting or just plain old much-needed solitude.

Whatever the case may be, it’s 2010–a new year, for a better version of you. Well, statistics show that many people tend to fade off of their new year’s resolutions within the first 3 months of the new year, never reaching their goals. I know someone who has denounced the phrase “New Year’s Resolution” and instead has vowed to make “lifestyle adjustments.” How refreshing.

What is your lifestyle adjustment? Okay–beyond the typical “exercise more” and “stop smoking/cursing/etc.”–what is your goal?

I overheard an interesting conversation between two middle-aged women. One woman pointed at an advertisement for an event going on in the Pittsburgh Cultural District, and encouraged her friend to come along. The friend, scrunched her face and said “I’ll pass, thanks,” citing the fact that she had never heard of the performer and never had been to that type of event before. Clearly it wasn’t her style. Out of her comfort zone. Foreign.

LINES Ballet @ August Wilson Center Jan. 15-16

LINES Ballet @ August Wilson Center Jan. 15-16

As the conversation progressed, the first woman expressed how she had made a promise to her family that in the New Year they would go to more cultural events in the city. To myself, I thought, what a great “lifestyle adjustment.” After some coaxing, the second woman agreed to go.

As we begin the second half of our Inaugural Season in the brand new August Wilson Center, I encourage you all to explore the unknown. In examining the Center’s impressive and aggressive schedule of events, I realize there may be more unfamiliar than familiar names on the lineup. Also, for many performers, Pittsburgh may be unfamiliar to them. Admittedly, a few performers are indeed alien to me, a self-proclaimed cultural enthusiast.  However, I consider it a good thing, for I find it challenges me to traverse deeper into the plush rainforest we call arts and culture.

Daniel Bernard Roumain @ the August Wilson Center Feb. 6

Daniel Bernard Roumain @ the August Wilson Center Feb. 6

In about two weeks, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet will grace the August Wilson Center stage. They are performing a piece, Signs and Wonders, celebrated by The New York Times as a work that “remains unpredictable and inventive, right up to its dazzling, fast-moving finale.” The piece, which was originally commissioned by Dance Theatre of Harlem, has toured around the world to critical acclaim and will be at the August Wilson Center January 15-16.

Then during Black History Month, the Center is presenting Daniel Bernard Roumain–a classically trained composer, performer, violinist, and band-leader noted for blending funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music into an energetic and experiential sonic form. My musical thirst (especially) is very comprehensive, and since DBR was foreign to my ipod, I decided on a whim to purchase his latest project, etudes4violin&electronix. I am actually listening to it now for the first time, and have yet to be disappointed and find myself looking forward to his February 6th performance at the Center.

Here are a few more events the Center is presenting in 2010:

Tribute to Phyllis Hyman - Feb. 19

Feb. 19

  • Habib Koite - An internationally-known Malian musician who sings and plays the guitar, integrating jazz, blues, flamenco, samba and diverse sounds from his native land.  Koite was donned “Mali’s biggest pop star” by Rolling Stone. In the same article, country/blues-star Bonnie Raitt compared Koite to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. He will be at the Center March 13.

    May 21

    May 21

  • Rennie Harris Puremovement - If you can appreciate dance and pure athleticism seeing this performance will definitely be worth your time. Known as the international hip-hop ambassadors, this Philly-based dance company strives to provide audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes most often presented by the media. Rennie Harris Puremovement will be at the Center May 21.

To see a complete list of all of the August Wilson Center’s upcoming events, click here!

Here’s to exploring the unknown in 2010–HAPPY NEW YEAR!

CHEERS!