Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta, GA
On May 21st 2005 Black Violin, two classically trained musicians from South Florida took home the title "2005 Apollo Legends" which catapulted them to international fame. These two gentlemen, Kev Marcus and Wil-B along with their DJ TK have created the ultimate synergy between classical and Hip-Hop music, and with it an incredible opportunity to reach young children. Since their triumph at the Apollo, Black Violin has toured with Linkin Park's lead singer Mike Shinoda and his group Fort Minor across the globe, performed at the NFL Kick off party with P. Diddy, and performed at the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys just to name a few notable performances. Black Violin has performed with music heavyweights such as Aerosmith, The Eagles, Stevie Nicks, Linkin Park, 50 Cent, Nas, Ludacris, The Roots, and Kanye West. They have also worked with producers Scott Storch, Jim Jonsin, and P Diddy.
Wil-B aka "Simply Sick", attended Dillard High School of Performing Arts, and joined the school band where he played the saxophone. At the age of 13 he was mistakenly put in the strings section of the band. But as luck would have it he mastered and grew to love it. He has participated with local pop orchestras such as the Young Artist Contemporary Orchestra in Palm Beach, Florida. Not only is this young man talented on the violin but he also can sing, play the piano, drums, trumpet and several other instruments. His influences include some well - known musical artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Common, Jill Scott, Bilal, and the Fugees.
The second master, Kev Marcus, also attended Dillard High School of Performing Arts. He was encouraged by his mother and teachers at the age of nine to begin playing the violin. From there he grew so intrigued by it that he couldn't let it go. He also began to participate with the local pop orchestras, the Miami Symphony and was also a semi-finalist in the Sphinx National Competition for Blacks and Latino's in 2000. His musical artist influences are past great pioneers of the music world, such as Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Nat King Cole. Kev Marcus also has been influenced by some of today's artists such as Mos Def, Notorious BIG, and Tupac Shakur.
After high school the two enrolled at the Florida International University. There they met their manager Sam G and co-founded the production DKNEX which stands for Di-Versatile Music. Their group name, Black Violin is derived from the influence of a famous Jazz violinist, Stuff Smith, who changed the art and way of music played on a violin, and whose last album before he died was entitled Black Violin. As the group began to tour across the nation, DJ TK joined the team, and helped take the group to another level.
Known by many as the “Lethal Weapon” for his involvement with a popular sound system called Lethal Weapon Sound, DJ TK was introduced to Kev Marcus and Wil-B through a mutual friend in 2004. As soon as TK, Kev, and Wil-B got the opportunity to rehearse in the studio, the 3 instantly connected on both a musical and personal level. Kev, Wil-B, and Sam G instantly made TK the official DJ of Black Violin, thus completing the group. TK gives Black Violin a more edgy live performance, as well as a keen ear when it comes to production. Being heavily influenced by The Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Bob Marley, Garnett Silk, Tenor Saw, Super Cat, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, and other notable Calypso and Reggae greats, TK brings a heavy Caribbean influence that makes Black Violin’s sound even more unique.
On May 3, 2007, Black Violin was awarded by the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts for their Outstanding Contributions to Middle & High School Performing Arts Students. In 2006, Black Violin started a mission called "Black Violin's Mission to Save the Performing Arts". Since many schools have cut down on offering performing arts classes within their curriculum, Black Violin has helped to promote the performing arts to kids and adults alike who have not been given music as an option. Aside from college tours and concerts, Black Violin always performs at elementary, middle, and high schools on a regular basis. Kev Marcus, and Wil-B, both graduates of Dillard Performing Arts High School, used their musical talents to earn full scholarships to college. Now Black Violin wants to make sure that America's young people get the same exposure to the arts, and therefore the same opportunity that they did.
Black Violin's show consists of a unique fusion of violins with Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz among other genres of music. Kev and Wil-B show their classical skills of violin playing over the beats provided by DJ TK. Although the violin is the focus of every show, Wil-B also sings and Kev Marcus raps while TK keeps the crowd hype. Black Violin's showcase is definitely one of the most unique live performances any audience will ever witness. Black Violin's audiences usually consist of kids to senior citizens and everything in between. There is no age, race, or creed that Black Violin cannot perform for. Black Violin is the perfect act for all colleges and universities that either want to promote the performing arts to their students, that are afraid to book Hip-Hop acts due to the explicit lyrics involved, or that just want to book a great live performance no matter what the occasion may be.