Screen capture of Video: Black Violin- « Triumph »
- “Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play… Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists; at others they fiddle as if at a hoedown; at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars.” –New York Times
- “You have to figure, once you hear about a pair of American hip hop artists playing violin and viola, that they would have a rather broad set of influences, and you’d be right. From straight classical sounds to soaring 70s-infused soul and R & B to what sometimes sound like flirtations with the shadows of silvery strands of 70s and 80s countri-fried rock (that pass like snowflakes in July, leaving you wondering where you got that crazy idea) to Eastern Euro trad to further groupings of today’s fused beats and rushing stylistic movements, delivered at a mostly breathable pace so your brain gets a bit of time to linger over what just got trapped by your ears. Lots of fun. ~ Mike Taylor, Ottawa, Canada
- “Who could ever had dreamt that Hip Hop would ever sound so classy? New doors have just opened up, exciting stuff, one of those truly unexpected mixes where you sense things can only get better and better. “ Jose Freitas Cruz, Japan/Portugal
- “I’m impressed! I was especially thrilled by the overture, the mission and triumph, but choose for yourselves (if possible).” Aaf Woldinga, Netherlands
- “I watched and enjoyed the video, extreme talent. Virtuoso is really the most accurate word for it, you can see that everyone on in the group is totally immersed.” Napo B . Toronto, Canada
- How could I not know these musicians were out there in the world? They surely are creating a mix of classical and contemporary sounds that will probably define what it is to live in the first two decades of the twenty first century! Usually I associate violin and strings in general to heartbreaking emotion, but this music of Black Violin got the blood moving in my veins. Jump up and start swaying! Incredible effect on my nervous system! I often tell students who have long studied violin and cello to listen to the electric violin of Laurie Anderson to push themselves out of the classical box. I now will direct them straight to Black Violin, as their remix of contemporary genres with classical has just begun to generate a whole new sonic experience. Wow! Thanks for introducing them to me, to so many others! ~ Jan Kather, New York, U.S.A.
Screen capture of Video: Showtime Sports TV Commercial featuring hit song “Virtuoso”
It’s hard to think of another African-American violin player to make their mark in popular music, so classically trained South Florida twosome, Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, who go by the name Black Violin are a welcome revelation for their ability to meld highbrow and pop culture, “Brandenburg” and “breakdown,” into a single genre-busting act.
Wil B and Kev Marcus are classically trained viola and violin players who first met playing in the high school orchestra in Fort Lauderdale, FL. After graduating college, they joined up as hip-hop studio rats in the South Florida, working with several different acts before returning to their roots by fusing the two genres in a groundbreaking collaboration that has seen them play their music for everybody from the troops in Iraq to both the official President’s Inaugural Ball and the Kids Inaugural in Washington, DC.
Since starting Black Violin a decade ago—named after an album by preeminent African-American swing era jazz violinist Stuff Smith—Wil B and Kev have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries as far away as Dubai, Prague and South Africa, while appearing at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls and last year’s U.S. Open in Forest Hills with Jordin Sparks.
The pair has played with the likes of Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda’s Fort Minor, while opening for Fat Joe, Akon and the Wu-Tang Clan. Individually and together, Black Violin has collaborated with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles.
“It’s now time to spread the word about Black Violin,” insists Kev. “The groundswell is just beginning.”