Abyssinian Block Party Features Prominent Composer in Return Visit to Portland


Katelyn Manfre, of Portland Ovations with Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain at the Portland Ovations Office on February 8, 2024.

A Block Party is Scheduled at The Abyssinian Meeting House on Newbury Street on May 11, 2024.

Featured at an upcoming block party at the Abyssinian Meeting House on May 11, 2024 is  prominent Black composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. Construction of the historic building was begun in 1826 and completed  in 1828 by Black members of the community who knew they were not welcome in other churches in the area.

The event on the East End of Portland is composed of a day of outdoor public performances on Newbury Street in front of the historic Abyssinian Meeting House.  The evening will culminate in a performance by Daniel Bernard Roumain in which he will unveil an original work  composed for the occasion.  Roumain will invite local artists from diverse backgrounds to respond to the piece. At the core of the  Roumain performance is music  that delves into a nuanced exploration of Black history in Portland.  It endeavors to capture the health, sorrow and beauty of Portland’s Black history.  This is Roumain’s fourth appearance in Portland since 2009.

The event is co-sponsored by Portland Ovations and Indigo Arts Alliance, Daniel Minter, co-founder.  The day- long programs are free and open to the public.

A year ago this month Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) announced that she had secured $1.7 million from HUD for the on-going restoration of the historic buiding.

For more background information on that on-going restoation at the historic building, please visit post herein dated October 24, 2023.  Please also read post herein dated May 21, 2009.