There is a new sound coming to the Centre for the Arts this month. The genre breaking duo, Black Violin, will be featured at Brock to showcase their impressive blend of styles for all to hear.
Black Violin is a duo of African-American violinists who have fused classical violin playing with modern hip-hop music among other popular genres.
The group consists of Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, both of whom are classically-trained string musicians. The two specialize in the viola and violin, which greatly complement each other in their music.
The duo first met in high school where they played in the school orchestra together. After they graduated college, they joined together to work in a hip-hop studio in South Florida. They worked in this capacity before returning to their classical roots.
Since the creation of Black Violin, they have collaborated with many other artists including the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles, to name a few.
Baptiste referred to their music as having a little something for everybody.
“It’s something everyone can enjoy, whether you’re an 80-year-old grandmother or a kid in kindergarten,” said Baptiste. “It’s classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, pop… just good music.”
Nothing truer could be said of their music. It is a genre mash up unlike any that has come before it and they make it look easy. Black Violin effortlessly combines many diverse styles though their songs vary in how much of each genre they utilize. For example, songs like “A Flat” have a more hip-hop feel to them whereas “Triumph” has more rock elements added and their cover of “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith utilizes a more bare bones classical sound featuring only the piano, viola and vocals. Despite the vast differences in sound, all the songs are of the highest quality and all are notably Black Violin to the core.
Black Violin’s music has taken them around the world on many occasions. Whether it was playing for the troops in Iraq or at President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., Black Violin has always consistenly astounded the masses with their musical precision and creative mastery. Everywhere they go, Black Violin draws the attention of those who are there to witness their musical prowess and now they are here for the enjoyment of audiences at Brock University and in the surrounding community.
Black Violin will be playing in the Sean O’Sullivan theatre on Mar. 11. Student tickets are available for $20 at the Center for the Arts Box Office in the Thistle corridor. You can also purchase tickets by contacting the Box Office at 905-688-5550 x3257, or visit Arts.BrockU.ca.