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MPAC Presents Black Violin
originally published: 04/16/2019
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Black Violin brings their 2019 tour to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Thursday, May 16 at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $29-$59. Black Violin is composed of both classically trained violist Wil Baptiste, and violinist Kev Marcus. They are currently writing and recording their next studio album expected to be released late summer 2019.
The duo, from South Florida, began playing together in their high school orchestra class. After attending separate colleges, Kev and Wil reunited and decided to combine their classical training and love for hip-hop music; establishing a distinguished, genre-bending sound that has often been described as “classical boom.”
They recently released their track “Dreamer” and shortly after released a video for it. Black Violin’s last record, Stereotypes, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart and #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart. NPR praised the album and band, saying “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.”
Creative collaborations include Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean, Lil Wayne, and Alicia Keys. In 2016, Black Violin composed music for FOX’s hit TV series Pitch and the group has made appearances on HBO’s Ballers, The Tonight Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The Ellen Show and the 2016 Heisman Trophy Presentation on ESPN.
Black Violin are advocates for educational outreach and were announced as Turnaround Artists for Mary B. Bethune Elementary School in their hometown of Broward County, FL. Turnaround Arts, a national education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, infuses arts into struggling schools to support overall reform efforts. Founded by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2012, the program partners schools with music instrument grants, arts supplies, professional development, musicals, and pairs each school with an artist to provide mentorship, inspiration, and support for the school’s journey in the program. Turnaround Artists include Elton John, Edward Norton, and Yo-Yo Ma, among other highly acclaimed members of the arts community. Additionally, Black Violin continues to perform for more than 100,000 students annually throughout North America and Europe.
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Black Violin’s Impossible Tour will spread the message that anything is possible and there are no limits to what one can achieve, regardless of circumstance. The focus is positivity and encouragement. As Wil Baptiste puts it, “When you come to a Black Violin concert, there are so many people in the audience experiencing something together. To me, that's what our show does, it brings people together. Not only that, you're being inspired, you're being uplifted, you're able to see something you probably have never seen before."