“Their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.” – NPR
Imagine a strong hip-hop beat overlapping a rich, classical melody and transforming into a gritty, classical ensemble. That is the essence of the classical duo Black Violin.
Black Violin’s Impossible Tour heads our way Thursday, November 7 at the Kodak Center in Rochester, spreading the message that anything is possible and there are no limits to what one can achieve, regardless of circumstance.
With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, stereotype-smashing Black Violin breaks the rules, blending classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass to create a sound they call “classical boom.” With classically trained Floridians Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste, a.k.a. Kev Marcus and Wil B. on violin and viola, alongside DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes, Black Violin uses their music to overcome stereotypes and encourage people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds to join together to break down cultural barriers. They performed for President Barack Obama at the 57th Presidential Inaugural Ball and have also collaborated with some of the most recognized names in the music industry,
Black Violin has officially released their new track Showoff and announced their upcoming album Take the Stairs to be released on November 1, 2019! Their last record, Stereotypes, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart and #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart. Creative collaborators include Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean, Lil Wayne, and Alicia Keys.
“Just because the violin is only played one way doesn’t mean that’s the only way it could be played. Don’t aim for the stereotypes. Only aim to break them,” Marcus said. “We get off the stage and it’s just like, ‘I didn’t even know the violin could do the things you were doing with it and it’s a black dude playing this thing.’ It’s just a perception changer and it’s a big deal for us.”
(*Includes excerpts from 2015 essence.com)