After nearly four years of touring and sharing the stage with such notables as Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, The Eagles and Diddy, Black Violin, the classically trained duo that connected at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, will perform for the hometown crowd on Saturday, July 10 at Revolution Live.
Wil B and Kev Marcus told the South Florida Times in a telephone interview that their travels have taken them from “Dubai to South Africa,” and that they’re looking forward to bringing their new show home.
The 28-year-olds said their career began after an encounter with Alicia Keys’ management that had them onstage with the pop princess less than two weeks later at the
2004 Billboard Awards. A few months following that performance, their win at New York’s famed Apollo Theater sealed their fate.
“After that, it kinda snow-balled,” Wil said.
Keys’ management introduced the duo to Mike Shinoda, lead singer of the popular rock band Linkin Park, who promptly included the act in a world tour with his hip-hop side project, Fort Minor.
“We toured with them for about two years,” Wil shared.
Still based in South Florida (Wil lives in Fort Lauderdale and Kev in Plantation), the name “Black Violin” comes from the title of the final album from jazz violinist, Stuff Smith, a virtuoso born in 1909 who performed with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and many others. Their exposure to Smith’s music, the duo said, showed “them that there were no limits to what the violin could do.”
Keeping one foot planted firmly in their rich history and the other in carving out their own musical presence, Black Violin has managed to merge classical music with hip-hop, jazz and R & B in a way that allows them to open for Jay-Z and The Eagles; Kanye West and Tom Petty.
In addition to performing with industry heavy-weights, the group has had its music featured on “America’s Got Talent” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The duo was featured on “CSI:NY,” for which they scored the opening scene by rearranging the climax of Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Their commercial success also includes providing music for Coca-Cola and Disney.
Of their future, Kev said, “We want to be pioneers. We want to change the way that people look at music. We want to change the way they look at the violin.”
While Wil is still single, but married to the music, Kev’s inner circle has transformed over the past few years. Now a husband and father of three, he said that when he’s not composing, writing or performing, his life revolves around his wife and three daughters. Kev said that “Daddy’s little girls” are 4 years old, 3, and the baby is nine months old.
When asked what the hometown fans can expect at Saturday’s show, Wil said, “They can expect something that they’ve never seen before. Even if they’ve seen us before, we’ve grown so much in the past four, five years.”
Fans should definitely expect to have a great time at the “incredible, high-energy, clean show.”
He advised concert-goers to “Leave all your worry and your stress at home and come to Revolution to have a good time. And bring your dancing shoes.”
Photo: Black Violin
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Black Violin
WHERE: Revolution Live, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
WHEN: Saturday, July 10 at 8 p.m.
COST: From $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster or by phone at 954-727-0950
CONTACT: To learn more about Black Violin, visit www.blackviolin.net.