Black History Month – DBR

Written by on February 11, 2021


Part of our ongoing Black History Month Chicago Shout-Out Series! Read the first chapter of this blog here. 

Shoutout #2 : Daniel Bernard Roumain (or DBR)

Daniel Bernard Roumain is a Haitian-American composer, performer, violinist, and band-leader best known by his nickname – DBR.  What DBR is perhaps best known for is his fusion style: he constantly combines funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music into an energetic and experiential sonic form.  This often includes samples from current black popular music!

Though DBR was born in Skokie IL, his love for music has taken him to institutions all around the US.  He attended Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, received his undergraduate from Vanderbilt University and earned a doctorate in musical composition from the University of Michigan. This wide variety of  backgrounds have caused him to develop a sound uniquely his own.  He’s written orchestral scores and energetic chamber works, rock songs and electronica, operas and dance pieces.  For more information check out his website at


Debut Album:  

  • String Quartet – 2004

Author’s favorite Album:

Famous Pieces:

  • A series of works for laptop and piano titled ” 24 Bits: Hip Hop Studies and Etudes and Event Pieces”
  • Genre-breaking band DBR & THE MISSION
  • BAM’S Next Wave Festival (2007)
  • Orchestral Tone Poem  “Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents “
  • Opera – “We Shall Not be Moved” in 2017

Fun Facts: 

  • Born in Skokie, IL!
  • Collaborations include contemporary composer Philip Glass ,  Ryuichi Sakamoto, DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Bill T. Jones, Cassandra Wilson, DJ Scientific and more
  • Serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Creative Capital, and the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization
  • Won an Emmy for outstanding musical composition
  • Latest work – a dance / music collaboration called The Just and The Blind


Intro Video to DBR!



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