Photo courtesy of NPR Music

On Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 the Newman Center was lit up by the hip-hop violin and viola duo Black Violin. The two artists created an atmosphere of fun and multicultural acceptance with their multi-genre sound and lyrics.                                                   

Violinist Kev Marcus and violist Wil B are two classically trained musicians from Florida who have been performing together for over a decade while speaking out about unity and empowerment. Black Violin wants their audience to break down the barriers that marginalize them, regardless of their background, and find what connects us as people.

Their latest release “Stereotypes” (2015) combats the various stereotypes that individuals may face in their daily life. This subject is extremely relevant to the performers as the classical community is often dominated by an iconoclastic demographic.

The performance was not a typical display of violin or viola. Rather than sit quietly and take in the music, the audience was encouraged to stand up, dance, sing along and clap to the music. This was not difficult as The pieces played spanned many genres including rap and pop covers, classical and original compositions.

Joined on stage by DJ TK and drummer, BEATdown, Marcus and B were able to keep the audience’s energy up and create a fun show for all ages. Midway through the show, they created an original song featuring all four artists. Marcus and B improvisationally write songs during every performance, and every night is an opportunity for the duo to be innovative. Not only is it in homage to classical jazz, it creates a special moment for the audience and the performers. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear something that no one else will ever hear.

More information about Black Violin can be found on their website. Their music can be found on YouTube, Spotify and iTunes.