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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 3, 2009

Black Violin fuses hip-hop, classical styles

Black Violin

Black Violin

The hip-hop/classical fusion group Black Violin will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in Northwest's Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, and the Student Activities Council-sponsored event is open to the public.

Combining a daunting array of musical influences into a signature sound, Black Violin consists of two classically trained violinists and a DJ. Taking inspiration from Shostakovich and Bach as well as Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin blends classical music with hip-hop and other pop forms to create a style virtually unique to both the recording studio and concert stage.

Black violin's two instrumentalists, Wil B and Kev Marcus, met while attending the Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. But it was not until the duo was introduced to the work of legendary jazz violinist Stuff Smith that the seeds of their collaboration were planted.

Smith, born in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1909, was one of the pre-eminent jazz violinists of the swing era and performed with legends like Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sun Ra. His final album was titled "Black Violin."

After graduating from high school, both Wil B and Marcus were granted full music scholarships to Florida State and Florida International University respectively. Black Violin was founded soon thereafter.

In 2004, the group joined superstar Alicia Keys on stage at the Billboard Music Awards. The following year, Black Violin was awarded the coveted title of Apollo Legend by the esteemed Apollo theatre in Harlem.

The band is currently touring behind its recently released eponymous debut album and have performed as an opening act for some of the biggest names in popular, hip-hop and rap music, including Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty.

"Black Violin is basically a fusion between classical music and hip-hop," Wil B. said. "We really try to bridge the gap between those genres and fill in everything in between."

"I am really excited that we are bringing in Black Violin as the kick-off to Black History Month," said Stephanie Robbins, Student Activities Council vice president of programming and recruitment. "I think it will be a great way to introduce this important month with a contemporary, fresh twist."

For more information about Black Violin and other Student Activities Council events, e-mail Adam Watson, SAC president, at or e-mail 660.562.1226.

The mission of the Student Activities Council is to plan and administer activities for the student body that contribute to well-rounded social, recreational and cultural experiences for all members of the Northwest community.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468