Providence, RI—Members of the community are invited to attend the FirstWorks Live—Music at Roger Williams Park free summer concert series in the gorgeous outdoor setting of the Roger Williams Park Bandstand.

Presented in partnership with Roger Williams Park Conservancy and the Providence Parks Department, the six-concert series continues this Sunday, August 15, 2021 with Trinidad-born jazz trumpet master, Etienne Charles. Charles and his band bring “Creole Soul” and the sounds of their newest album “Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1” to the FirstWorks Live stage. The band leads an excursion into the varied acoustic sounds, grooves, chants and rituals of the native Trinidad and Tobago carnival.

This FirstWorks Live performance is featured as a PVDFest “summer happening,” as Providence’s signature arts festival resumes for 2021 to include citywide arts events spanning June-September.

A menu of free activities exploring the sounds, ideas and spirit of Carnival kicks off with a PVDFest Ideas panel discussion on The Legacy of J’ouvert in Carnival outside of the Roger Williams Park Casino at 1:30 PM. Etienne Charles, Gabriel “David” Alexis, and Becky Bass will discuss the legacy of J’ouvert, a traditional festival originating in Trinidad and Tobago but celebrated throughout the Caribbean. 

At 2:15 PM, Etienne Charles and his band lead a workshop that explores the music of Carnival. Learn about instruments, rhythms, and how it all works together at the Roger Williams Park Bandstand.

At 4:00 PM, two-time New England Urban Music Award winner Becky Bass leads a workshop on The Steel Pan from J’ouvert to Carnival outside of the Roger Williams Park CasinoAttendees are welcome to bring their percussion instruments to participate in this interactive workshop in which Bass will discuss and demonstrate the journey of the steel pan and its place in J’ouvert celebrations.

The Providence Drum Troupe stir up a celebration starting at 4:00 PM. Featuring acrobats, fire-arts, stilt walkers, hoopers, lasers and dancers from near and far, their funky beats and positive, interactive energy culminate in Etienne Charles’ headline performance at 5:00 PM at the Bandstand.

In the event of rain, Etienne Charles’ concert and related Carnival events will take place inside the Roger Williams Park Casino instead of at the Bandstand and Casino lawn. Space is limited, first come first served. Masks are strongly encouraged for indoor events.

FirstWorks and Roger Williams Park are committed to following the State of Rhode Island’s guidance on COVID-19 precautions. Patrons are encouraged to view the latest state guidelines at as guidance develops.

The FirstWorks Live—Music at Roger Williams Park concert series offers a global journey from Polynesian dance and drums to Andean folk music, international hip-hop to Caribbean Carnival, red-hot Latin jazz to red roots Americana. For more information and the full series line-up visit To learn more about events in Roger Williams Park visit

FirstWorks Live—Music at Roger Williams Park is presented by FirstWorks in partnership with Roger Williams Park Conservancy and Providence Parks Department. A PVDFest Summer Happening.

FirstWorks’ Carnival! funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

Special thanks to Providence Tourism Council for generous support of FirstWorks Live—Music at Roger Williams Park.

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to