DBR: Voodoo at the New Jersey Symphony

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and I cannot wait to perform for our audiences in person again. This season speaks to our time, with many important voices of today, and celebrates great musical traditions of the past and present.” — Music Director Xian Zhang

On October 8, the New Jersey Symphony opens its 2021-22 concert season with Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) performing his Voodoo Violin Concerto. Patrick Chamberlain, the orchestra’s Vice President of Artistic Planning, notes “…we are so excited that Daniel Bernard Roumain will make his subscription debut as our Resident Artistic Catalyst, sharing his multi-faceted artistry as both composer and performer.” Roumain’s three-movement, 24-minute concerto is one of DBR’s most popular, signature works. Originally composed for chamber ensemble, Voodoo Violin Concerto was commissioned in 2002 by The Kitchen House Blend. In 2006, the Vermont Youth Orchestra asked DBR to arrange the work for full orchestra, and the resulting work showcases a drum kit and hip-hop/jazz beats throughout. The orchestra performs the work again on October 10.

At the time of its premiere, DBR described his concerto as “most concerned with the notion of the ritual, or our collective rites of passage. From the current state of a highly technological country in the United States of America (the techno textures and rhythms of ‘Filtering’), to my own relationship with Catholicism (the meditative tonality of ‘Prayer’), I find ‘Tribe’ in all of its primitive repetition, to, perhaps, be the most accurate depiction of where we are right now, as a collective, civilized society; a collective, civilized world.”