Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Black Violin Bridges Gap Between Classical And Hip-Hop

KINGSVILLE - April 02, 2008

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

It’s where classical music meets hip-hop and it’s coming to Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

The musical group, Black Violin, will be on campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in Jones Auditorium. Tickets are $4 for the general public, $2 for military personnel and free for A&M-Kingsville students with a valid identification card. For more information, call 361-593-2760.

Black Violin consists of Wil-B and Kev Marcus, both 26, who attended Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Florida together. The classically trained musicians took home the Apollo Legends title in 2005, an honor that sent them on the road to international fame. Kev and Wil-B along with their DJ TK have created the ultimate link between classical and hip-hop music.

The group has toured with Linkin Park’s lead singer Mike Shinoda, performed at the NFL Kick Off Party with Diddy and at the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys. Black Violin has performed on the same stage with Aerosmith, The Eagles, Stevie Nicks, Linkin Park, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Kanye West, Nas, Fabolous Ciara, Fat Joe, Lil Wayne, Tony Touch and Miami’s own Iconz and Wreckonize. Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Lil Kim and Brooke Hogan have featured them on albums.

They have performed on Thank God its Friday comedy tour, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Carson Daly Show, Good Morning Chicago, Fox News in the Morning, BET Black Film Festival and ESPN’s Jax Live Super Bowl Celebration.

Black Violin has been honored by the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts for their Outstanding Contributions to Middle and High School Performing Arts Students.

Wil-B started playing the viola when he was 13. He has participated with local pop orchestras including the Young Artist Contemporary Orchestra in Palm Beach. He not only plays violin, but also can sing and play piano, drums, trumpet and bass guitar. His influences include Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Curtis Mayfield, Chaka Khan, Victor Wooten, Common AZ, Jill Scott and Talib Kweli.

Kev began to play violin when he was nine. He was a semi-finalist in the Sphinx National Competition for Blacks and Latino’s in 2000. His musical influences include Herbie Hancock, Stuff Smith, Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Nat King Cole, Mos Def, Notorious BIG, Dr. Dre, The Roots, Nas and Jay-Z.

After high school, the two earned full college scholarships, Kev to Florida International University and Wil-B to Florida State University. At FIU, Kev met Sam G, their manager, the production company, DKNEX, which stands for Di-Versatile Music, was founded.

The name Black Violin comes from the influence of famous jazz violinist, Stuff Smith. Six months before his death, he recorded his most soulful solo album entitled Black Violin.

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