Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is a composer, performer, violinist, and band-leader who seamlessly blends funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music into a new sonic vision that is far out and creative in another world. He is a classical-urban ambassador for the next generation with a widening international audience.
Voted '#3 Best Classical Moment of 2003' by the New York Times and raved by critics from classical and popular music fields alike, DBR has collaborated with Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Savion Glover, Vernon Reid, DJ Spooky, Susan Sarandon, Cassandra Wilson, and an array of orchestras and chamber ensembles. His dramatic soul-inspiring pieces range from orchestral scores to energetic chamber works to rock songs and electronica, all embracing modern musical genres woven with a multicolored spectrum of popular music. His 9-piece band, DBR & THE MISSION, features an amplified string quartet, drum kit, keyboards, vocalist, DJ, and laptopist. The orchestras of Dallas, Memphis, San Antonio, and St. Louis have performed or commissioned his works, and Bill T. Jones and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s regularly collaborate with him---DBR is the Music Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Assistant Composer-in-Residence of the OSL.
DBR has performed his arrangements of Cassandra Wilson’s 'Glamoured' with the jazz vocalist and her quintet while conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic; jammed with his band at the celebrated Joe's Pub in New York City; rocked with DJ Spooky at the Lincoln Center Summer Festival; and composed music for and performed in the European premiere of Bill T. Jones' 'ANOTHER EVENING' at the RomaEuropa Festival in Italy. As Artist-in-Residence at Arizona State University, DBR collaborated and performed with Philip Glass in 'SEEN AND HEARD: Philip Glass and Daniel Roumain Together on Screen, Stage and in Sound'.
Hundreds of people at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center applauded the premiere of DBR’s 'String Quartet No. 4, Angelou', a musical portrait of Maya Angelou composed for string quartet, turntables and laptop; it’s the most recent addition to his on-going series of string quartets depicting leaders from the civil rights era (others include Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Adam Clayton Powell). Current projects include 'Vision Blinding' (his fourth, evening-length solo show) for violin, video, and voice; '24 Bits: Hip Hop Studies and Etudes' performed by DBR on piano and laptop; and 'Blind Date' (the most recent Bill T. Jones/DBR collaboration), a large-scale work for multiple video installations, a classical violinist, two throat-singers, and the company.
DBR completed his masters and doctoral work at the University of Michigan, studying with William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty. He is a Van Lier Fellow (2002, 2004), a recipient of a Creative Capital Grant, and an Artist-in-Residence at PACE University. DBR has been recognized as one of the Top 100 New Yorkers by New York Resident Magazine; appeared on the catwalk for Perry Ellis during fashion week; been interviewed by Tavis Smiley; featured on the pages of XXL magazine and the New York Times; and writes a column, DBR Pulse, for DRUM magazine in London. STRINGS magazine published one of his Hip Hop Studies and Etudes in February 2005.