Daniel Bernard Roumain | Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae’Anna
“‘Twin Stars’ is a piece that was created out of love and a thirst for Black dignity — and the hope and optimism that every child, every human deserves.” —Marc Bamuthi Joseph, poet and librettist
The future is built on how we remember. In “Twin Stars,” Daniel Bernard Roumain and Marc Bamuthi Joseph honor the memory of Philando Castile, murdered in 2016 during a police traffic stop while his four-year-old daughter, Dae’Anna and her mother, Diamond Reynolds bore witness in the back seat of the car. The epidemic of violence against Black bodies sparked the path for the artists’ music and activism, and converged with local collaborators in Providence, Rhode Island as the opening performance for FirstWorks’ 2022 season.
With “Twin Stars,” the artists have created a sanctuary on both live and virtual stages. I thank them — and their collaborators, for this painful, beautiful work of art that bears witness to Black trauma and brings us together to move forward. FirstWorks honors this work and is fiercely committed to our role in the arts ecosphere that brings artists and community together.
This chamber work, performed by string quartet, piano, two vocalists and dancers, challenges us to ask: How are we going to do the work? How are we going to join together against the persistence of anti-Black racism in the United States? It asks us to remember that beauty and joy can also be forms of resistance and proclamation. Daniel is using music, classical music at that, as an instrument of change. We must rise to this moment. The voices of artists beckon us forward to a kinder future.
Executive Artistic Director & Founder, FirstWorks
The Making of “The Telling”
As we continue to celebrate the excellence of Black artists, we invite you to watch this behind-the-scenes video about “The Telling,” an extraordinary performance with singers, dancers, piano, and strings. Hear from Daniel Bernard Roumain and some of his collaborators including vocalist Becky Bass, pianist Melvin Chen, and dancer/choreographer Shura Baryshnikov about their process of creating space for the telling of Black stories embracing the emotional spectrum of sorrow, anger, hope and joy.
Look for a special release of Daniel’s work “Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae’Anna” coming to FirstWorks’ Virtual Stage in March 2023. Video by SteerPVD
Natále – Moreno feat. Fidel Nadal
Filmed in the open markets, beaches, and streets of Mexico, the video shares sunshine, warmth, and uplifting vibes, encouraging people from all cultures to dance in unison to the celebration of life!
“Moreno” features Afro-Argentinian reggae musician Fidel Nadal, “The Rasta who revolutionized Latin Rock” (Rolling Stone Magazine). The world-reggae inspired song emits the experience of a spirited, multicultural love affair, drawing influences from cumbia and flamenco.
Requiem for the Living, In Color
Responding to the realities of creating as people of color during these unprecedented times, multimedia artist Carlos Andres Toro and composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain collaborate on a live-streamed cinematic journey in film and sound, supported by the Steer Forward team.
Groove to the rhythms of Oumou Sangaré and Sidy Maiga
Experience the soul-lifting sounds of Mali with Grammy winner Oumou Sangaré, hailed as the greatest living female voice in African music, and master drummer Sidy Maiga.
Sofía Viola in concert
Argentina’s Sofía Viola mixes soul, bolero, cumbia, tango and rock into a powerful performance that showcases her unconditional love for Latin American folklore. With her guitar and charangón (a relative of the lute), she composes songs that speak of love, ecology and junk food, all with the intensity of Latin American tradition, but with a contemporary twist. Performing from her mother’s colorful home in Buenos Aires, her provocative and sometimes acidic humor will lead you on a journey to discover the roots of Argentina through the characters and landscapes that inhabit her songs.
Fidel Nadal in concert
Latin Grammy Award nominee Fidel Nadal is an Afro-Argentinian singer rooted in reggae, dancehall and urban styles. The son of an anthropologist and a leading advocate for the recognition of black Argentines, Fidel Nadal’s ideology is deeply influenced by the Rastafarian culture of Jamaica and Haiti. Hits like “International Love” convey messages of Pan-African consciousness and Afro-Argentine identity. Performing from a recording studio in Mexico City, Nadal and his band bring their groove into your home through this special virtual concert for FirstWorks.
UnMuted Tears with Rose Weaver and Cambodian Lullaby with Sokeo Ros
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts joins forces with NEFA and FirstWorks of Providence, Rhode Island to present Cambodian Lullaby with storyteller, Hip Hop dance educator, and scholar Sokeo Ros plus UnMuted Tears with actress, singer, and writer Rose Weaver Performances, hosted by Kathleen Pletcher. Arts Across America is brought to you by Facebook.
Note: This performance contains mature themes & strong language. Presented as part of Arts Across America—a live performance