Levitt National Tour presents
critically acclaimed classical meets hip-hop
It’s hard to think of another African-American violin player to make a mark in popular music, so classically trained South Florida twosome, Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, who go by Black Violin, are a welcome revelation for their ability to meld highbrow with pop culture. The duo’s most recent album, Classically Trained, is the follow-up to their 2007 self-titled debut on their own label and as good an introduction as any to their groundbreaking blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and even bluegrass music. Wil B and Kev Marcus are classically trained viola and violin players who first met playing in the high school orchestra in Florida. After graduating college, they joined up as hip-hop studio rats, working with several acts before returning to their roots by fusing the two genres in a groundbreaking collaboration that has seen them play their music for everybody from the troops in Iraq to both the official President’s Inaugural Ball and the Kids Inaugural in Washington, DC, where President Barack Obama gave each a hearty handshake and man hug. The pair also headlined 40 shows in two stints at the New Victory Theater on Broadway, including 16 sold-out shows last November. Along the way, they’ve wowed audiences at the legendary Harlem Apollo Theatre, accompanied Alicia Keys’ performance of Karma at the 2004 Billboard Awards, and appeared with Gym Class Heroes and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump playing the hit song, Stereo Hearts, for VH1’s Unplugged. Since starting a decade ago, Black Violin has performed 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries as far away as Dubai, Prague and South Africa, while appearing at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls and last year’s U.S. Open in Forest Hills with Jordin Sparks. The pair has played with Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda’s Fort Minor, and opened for Fat Joe, Akon and the Wu-Tang Clan. Individually and together, Black Violin has collaborated with P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles.
Black Violin — A Flat
Free admission. Open lawn seating on lawn chairs and blankets. Picnics, snacks and coolers with beverages are allowed, including beer and wine, but no glass containers, please.
For more details about visiting the Levitt Pavilion, please see Your Visit.
The Levitt Pavilion is located in Founders Plaza, 100 W. Abram St., at the corner of Abram and Center streets. For directions and parking, please see Directions & Parking.