TALLAHASSEE — Two Dillard High alumni who are making sweet music will headline Florida A&M University’s Lyceum Series in a concert slated for the Tallahassee-based university on Nov. 3.
Wil B. and Kev Marcus, who comprise Black Violin, and their DJ, are said to be redefining the music world, one string at a time, combining a daunting array of musical styles and influences to produce a signature sound.
The classically trained violinists have been influenced by performers from the classical such as Dmitri Shostakovich and Johann Sebastian Bach to rappers Nas and Jay-Z.
Black Violin breaks all the rules, blending the classical with the modern to create something rare, a sound that nobody has ever heard, but that everybody wants to feel.
When the duo first learned to play their signature instruments — Wil B., the viola, at age 14 and Kev Marcus, the violin, at 9, neither could have foreseen that it would become their livelihood, though it was already becoming their passion.
The musicians first met while attending Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. After graduating from high school, they each received full music scholarships, Wil B. to Florida State University and Kev Marcus to Florida International University.
The duo joined superstar Alicia Keys on stage at the Billboard Music Awards in 2004 and a year later won the coveted title Apollo Legend from Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
Mike Shinoda, lead singer of rock act Linkin Park, was impressed by Black Violin’s imaginative composition and finely tuned musicianship and invited them along on a world tour with his hip-hop side project, Fort Minor.
Black Violin has also worked with musicians as diverse as P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin and the Eagles.
The duo recently released its eponymous debut album, Unleased.
Black Violin continues to tour, opening for hip-hop mainstays such as Fat Joe, Akon, and the Wu-Tang Clan in Prague, Dubai and South Africa.
The group’s rising fame has also made it a highly desired act for celebrity events. Black Violin provided the music at Minister Louis Farrakhan’s 75th birthday and at NFL star Santana Moss’ wedding.
For more information on the FAMU performance, call 850-599-3413.