To most people, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and classical are musical genres. But to revolutionary music group Black Violin; they’re nothing but ingredients.
Combining a daunting array of musical styles and influences to produce a signature sound that is not quite maestro, not quite emcee, this group of two classically trained violinists and their DJ is redefining the music world-one string at a time. With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin breaks all the rules, blending the classical with the modern to create something rare-a sound that nobody has ever heard, but that everybody wants to feel.
When the members of Black Violin first learned to play their signature instruments- Wil B at the viola 14 years old and Kev Marcus the violin at the tender age of 9 – neither could have foreseen that it would become their livelihood, though it was already becoming their passion. The two Florida natives first met while attending the Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, a school whose exceptional music programs served to nurture their already budding talents.
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But it was not until the two were exposed to the work of legendary violinist Stuff Smith that the seeds that would one day become Black Violin were truly planted. Smith, born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1909, was one of preeminent jazz violinists of the swing era, who went onto perform with names like Alphonse Trent, Coleman Hawkins,Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sun Ra throughout a long and storied career. His final album and most soulful, entitled “Black Violin,” so inspired and influenced the young Kev Marcus and Wil B.
In an age where music is coming to be more and more defined by the labels given to it, Black Violin shows that music does not exist within a box, but rather exists in another space-one as open and unrestrained as the minds that produce it.