black_violin.jpgBOCA RATON — The classically trained South Florida twosome known as Black Violin, fresh off their performance during the inauguration of President Barack Obama’s second term, will open for main act Natalie Cole at the Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc. concert to raise funds for music education on Friday, March 1, at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Tr., Boca Raton.

The event begins at 7 p.m. with a reception hosted by Celebrity Cruises. The benefit concert tickets start at $75. To purchase visit or call 561-237-9000. For more information on Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc., call 561-213-8209 or mail

Comprised of Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, Black Violin are known 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, puts their groundbreaking blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and even bluegrass music on full display.

Wil B and Kev Marcus are classically trained viola and violin players who first met playing at the Dillard High School of the performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. After graduating college, they joined up as hip-hop studio rats in South Florida, working with several different acts before returning to their roots by fusing the two genres in a groundbreaking collaboration that has seen them play their music for everybody from the troops in Iraq to inaugural events in Washington, D.C.

The pair also headlined 40 shows in two stints at the New Victory Theater on Broadway, including 16 sold-out shows over two weeks last November.

Timolin and Casey Cole of Boca Raton, the twin daughters of music legend Nat King Cole, launched  the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc. in 2008 to honor the legacy, music and life of their father after learning of budget cuts in public schools directly affecting the arts. The foundation reports that donations in excess of $66,000 have benefited more than 5,000 children with “the greatest need and fewest resources” in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“In keeping with that legacy,” said Casey Cole, “the concert will showcase generations of musical greatness, including performances by our sister Natalie Cole, students from the Nat King Cole Generation Hope Summer Strings Camp, and local youth performance artists Andrew Foreman, Zoe Fromer, and Jermaine Teague in addition to Black Violin.”

*Pictured above is Black Violin.