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The Pied Piper of Portland

Coming to Congress St: "The music we all need."

How do you raise kids who aren’t picky eaters? Have them eat everything. How do you raise kids with broad musical tastes? Have them listen to everything.

It worked for Daniel Bernard Roumain, a violinist and composer with a great love for smashing the barriers that separate different genres. His taste in music is eclectic because, as a kid, he was exposed to his father’s wide-ranging collection of albums. “From Haitian traditional music to ABBA,” Roumain recalls, “to Al Stewart to the Jackson Five. Marvin Gaye. Barry White. And of course classical music.”

At 5:00 o’clock on Friday afternoon Roumain will become a real-life Pied Piper as he leads musicians along Congress Street in downtown Portland, a procession that will end with a performance. Planning for the event has been in the works for months, and Roumain is clearly looking forward to it. “It’s very exciting to me,” he says. “It’s the music [people] love, and the music we all need.”