A Discovery Series Virtual Field Trip!
Black Violin enters the student virtual space with an all new, high energy, performance that takes their unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, jazz and pop to new heights. Recorded at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, this engaging, high definition multi-camera video covers themes of perseverance, exploration and unity with songs like “Rise,” “Unbreakable,” “Believer,” “Dreamer” and “Impossible is Possible.”
Embedded in the performance are messages for students and educators about challenging stereotypes and status quo conventions, and that pathways to success require commitment, practice and unwavering dedication.
During a pre-recorded question and answer session, BLACK VIOLIN discusses their personal history, their journey to the stage, and their plans to continue their mission with their nonprofit organization, Black Violin Foundation.
For 16 years, BLACK VIOLIN members Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste have been merging string arrangements with modern beats and vocals. The two met in orchestra class at Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, becoming classically trained on the violin and viola through their high school and college careers. Post-college, they reconvened to produce beats for South Florida rappers, and began building an audience in local clubs. They later went on to win “Showtime at the Apollo” in 2005, and eventually sold out headline performances at venues across the country, including a sold out two-night headline run at The Kennedy Center in 2018. Their unique brand of merging the genre they were listening to (hip hop) with the world they were studying (classical) was celebrated with collaborations with Alicia Keys, Wu Tang Clan, 2 Chainz and others. NPR took note and declared “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.” UPROXX also featured Black Violin in a mini-documentary as part of their “Uncharted” series.
The duo plays over 200 shows a year (many of these are performances for young low-income students in urban communities – in the last year alone, the group played for over 100,000 students) with the goal of challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like.
“The stereotypes are always there, embedded so deep in our culture,” says Wil. “Just by nature of our existence we challenge those ideas. It’s a unique thing that brings people together who aren’t usually in the same room, and in the current climate, it’s good to bring people together.”
Recently, the group launched the Black Violin Foundation, an organization dedicated to empowering youth by providing access to quality music programs in their community. BVF believes that music and access to music programs should not be determined by race, gender, or socio-economic status. The Black Violin Foundation’s inaugural program will provide scholarships of up to $1,000 to youth who would like to continue their musical education through a program of their liking that fosters musical creativity and innovation. Programs can range from private lessons, to summer music camps, to college courses.
- Price: FREE