Black Violin

October 12, 2017 7:30 – 9 p.m.

To most people, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and classical are genres; to Black Violin they’re ingredients. Combining a daunting array of styles and influences to produce a signature sound that is not quite maestro, not quite emcee, these two classically trained violinists and their DJ are redefining the music world one string at a time.

When Wil Baptiste (viola) and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester (violin) first learned to play—at age 14 and 9 respectively—neither could have foreseen that their passion would become their livelihood. The Florida natives met in high school, but it was not until they were exposed to the work of legendary swing-era violinist Stuff Smith—whose final album was entitled Black Violin, a name the duo adopted to honor the man who taught them there were no limits to what the violin could do—that the seeds that would one day become the innovative classical hip-hop duo were planted.

Once formed, the group wasted no time in making a name for itself. Together and individually, Black Violin has collaborated with Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, and The Eagles; and performed at SXSW, Bonnaroo, three Super Bowls, the U.S. Open, and the 2016 Heisman Trophy ceremony.

With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin breaks the rules, blending classical with modern to create a sound that no one has ever heard but everyone wants to feel, and showing that music can be as unrestrained as the minds that conceive it.

Single tickets: $35–$50 (eligible for Arts Center 15% and 20% subscriber discounts)

Photo: Colin Brennan

Sponsored by Larry and Nancy Peckham

Nazareth College Arts Center
4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618
585-389-2170 |

Black Violin


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