Black Violin - Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Nov. 28, 2014
Paul Bilyeu, 813.222.1050 ─ [email protected]
Straz Center for the Performing Arts presents
Black Violin
Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center
Regularly priced tickets are $25-$35
TAMPA, Fla. — The Straz Center for the Performing Arts presents Black Violin on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at 7:30
p.m., in Ferguson Hall. Black Violin is sponsored in part by the Tampa Bay Times.
It’s hard to think of another African-American violinist 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. The band’s most recent album, Classically Trained, is the follow-up to their 2007 selftitled debut on their own Di-Versatile Music Group label, which is as good an introduction to their groundbreaking
blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and bluegrass.
Wil B and Kev Marcus are classically trained viola and violin players who first met playing in the high school
orchestra in Fort Lauderdale. They’ve since fused the hip-hop and classical genres in a groundbreaking collaboration
that has seen them play their music for everybody from the troops in Iraq to both of President Obama’s Inaugural
Balls. The pair also headlined 40 shows in two stints at the New Victory Theater on Broadway. They’ve wowed
audiences at the Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre, accompanied Alicia Keys’ performance of “Karma” at the 2004
Billboard Awards and appeared with Gym Class Heroes and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump playing the hit song,
“Stereo Hearts,” for VH1’s Unplugged.
Since starting Black Violin a decade ago – named after an album by preeminent African-American swing era jazz
violinist Stuff Smitm – 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. 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. Kev supplied strings for a track on Lupe Fiasco’s Grammy-nominated Food & Liquor 2 album, and appeared
on the Meek Mill cut “Maybach Curtains” with John Legend, Rick Ross and Nas. Wil and Kev also scored an episode
of CSI: New York, adapting the finale of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly for an on-screen murder.
Regularly priced tickets for the Friday, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m., , performance by Black Violin are $25-$35 and may be
purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket
Sales Office or online at Handling fees will apply. For more information about the Straz Center
for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit the Straz Center’s website at
Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.
This artist residency with Black Violin is made possible in part by support from the National Performance Network (NPN) Performance Residency Program and
the National Endowment for the Arts.
The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its programs are funded in part by the City of Tampa; the Hillsborough County Board of County
Commissioners; the Tourist Development Council/Hillsborough County; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida
Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts