Daniel Bernard Roumain E C H O E S

Daniel Bernard Roumain


Stories and songs across time

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Co-presented by Portland Ovations and Indigo Arts Alliance

E C H O E S is a site-responsive composition project that endeavors to encapsulate the breath, sorrow, and beauty of Portland, Maine’s intricate history and its relationship with its Black community. With the iconic Abyssinian Meeting House as the focal point, Black, Haitian American composer, violinist, and activist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) will unveil an original work, inviting local artists from diverse disciplines to remix and respond to the piece. “E C H O E S” co-presented by Portland Ovations and Indigo Arts Alliance. This is DBR’s fourth collaboration with Portland Ovations since 2009.

E C H O E S is a collaborative project featuring Daniel Bernard Roumain, Brian J. Evans and Moon Machar. Other artists include Samuel James, Veeva Banga, CC Paschal, and Maya Williams.

Daniel Bernard Roumain


SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2024

3 – 5:30 pm
Location: Eastern Cemetery

224 Congress Street, Portland
Audiences learned about our City’s hidden Black history through special tours led by Vana Carmona, founder of The Prince Project and Jeff Lyons, of Spirits Alive. Included are the graves of the two African American sections, as well as those of Portland’s 18th century enslavers. 

5 – 6:30 pm
Location: Indigo Arts Alliance

60 Cove Street, Portland
Indigo Arts Alliance activated their studio with an opening performance by DBR. Additional activations presented by AiR Alum and other Black and Brown performers responding to the ECHOES call with dance, music and spoken word performances. Featured artists are Brian J. Evans, Samuel James, Veeva Banga, and Maya Williams.

5:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: Abyssinian Meeting House

75 Newbury Street, Portland, outside
Dugan Murphy of Portland by the Foot provides inspiring, inclusive and surprising guided tours on the history of Newbury Street. 

7:30 – 8:30 pm
Location: Abyssinian Meeting House
75 Newbury Street, Portland, outside

Guests gathered outside the Abyssinian Meeting House for the performance of E C H O E S featuring Daniel Bernard Roumain alongside local artists Brian J. Evans, Moon Machar, CC Paschal, Samuel James, Veeva Banga, Maya Williams, and Genius Black. 

202403 - DBR at Abysinnian small

Meet the Artists


Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is a Black, Haitian-American composer who sees composing as collaboration with artists, organizations and
communities within the farming and framing of ideas. He is a prolific
and endlessly collaborative composer, performer, educator, and social

Brian J. Evans is a Citizen Artist. Mixing disciplines, mixing professions, and of mixed race, Brian J. Evans unpacks the “moments of suspension” that reside in the spaces between spaces. Convinced that connections exist between us all and it is the responsibility of the Arts to remind us to be holistically human, lest we forget.

Moon Machar For a decade, Nyamuon (Moon) Nguany Machar has been a vigorous advocate for minority youth in mental health, currently contributing as a cultural strategist at Disability Rights Maine. As a spoken word poet, Moon inspires others to discover resilience in their voices.


CC Paschal is a Peabody Award-winning audio journalist and artist who creates immersive, interdisciplinary storytelling experiences. They spent 2021-2023 teaching the Salt Workshop as visiting professor of Radio and Podcasting at Maine College of Art & Design. Previously, CC was the founding series editor of NPR’s acclaimed investigative music series Louder than a Riot, and one of the lead producers of Gimlet Media’s Uncivil, which won a Peabody Award in 2018.

Veeva Banga is a South Sudanese dancer. Since the age of twelve
dancing hip hop every Friday, she has honed a passion for sharing
her cultural dance with people locally. She is a talented dancer that has an opportunity to play with a mix of styles in Afro Beat that can offer a different approach to dance in Maine. Veeva has taught at local studios like Hustle and Flow Studio, Bright Star World Dance Studio, Living Room Dance Collective, Portland Youth Dance, Mayo Street Arts and many more.

Veeva Banga

Samuel James  is a musician, journalist and storyteller, whose work has been featured on This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour.  As a musician, James has been touring internationally for more than fifteen years, performing in the Black American Folk Tradition. He has released seven albums, scored film soundtracks and museum exhibits. He is the author of the monthly column “Racisms” (The Bollard) and a weekly newsletter, Banned Histories of Race in America. He’s also the creator and host of the podcast 99 Years, exploring the deliberate creation of the whitest state in the nation.

Maya Williams (ey/they/she) is a religious Black multiracial nonbinary suicide survivor who is currently an Ashley Bryan Fellow and the seventh Poet Laureate of Portland, Maine. Maya’s poetry collections, Judas & Suicide and Refused a Second Date, are available now. Ey has published poems in venues such as The Portland Press HeraldThe Cortland ReviewFreezeRayIndianapolis ReviewAmjambo Africa!, glitterMOB, Maine Arts JournalBlack Table Arts, and more. Maya’s content covers suicide awareness, mental health, faith, entertainment media, grief, interpersonal relationships, intimate partner violence, and healing.

Genius Black also known as Jerry Edwards, is warmly regarded as a versatile creative force in South Portland, Maine. For over two decades he has seamlessly woven music, photography, and podcasting into a captivating and multidisciplinary career in the arts. Geniuspearheads GEM CITY, an impassioned creative collective that advocates for the convergence of art, culture, and Maine’s distinctive identity. This March saw the release of “GEM CITY 2,” an album testament to his creative prowess. Hosting the “Maine’s Black Future” podcast, Genius pays homage to the state’s Black history and BIPOC leaders. A Bowdoin College graduate in Africana Studies, he directly champions social justice through activism, and recently completed an Artist in Residency Program at SPACE.

Genius Black


Support the Abyssinian Meeting House

The mission of the Committee to Restore the Abyssinian includes but is not limited to the restoration, historic preservation, and maintenance of the historic building known as the Abyssinian Meeting House, in the city of Portland, State of Maine; and the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of African-Americans in Maine.

House of Freedom Podcast

House of Freedom is a serialized narrative podcast coming soon by CC Paschal that imagines the Underground Railroad operations led by Black Portlander Rueben Ruby between the late 1820s through the Civil War and reconstruction. Portland, Maine was a major hub not only for the Triangle Slave Trade, with its thriving seaport, but also a crucial access point for Black fugitives escaping slavery from the south. The city’s Black-led abolitionists provided resources, cover and passage to Canada, England and other places where they could be truly free.

Visit Audiocraft.substack.com and follow @Audiocraftpod on Instagram for project updates and to support this independent community co-production!



Sponsored By

Supported By

Alice Ditson Fund of Columbia University

Robert and Dorothy Goldberg Foundation