Stagename Turned Superheros: Black Violin

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Written By Abby Duran

Classically trained instrumentalists, Kevin Marcus and Wilner Baptiste, are bridging music and education at a time where diversity and culture are vital. Their message is simple: “You can do anything no matter who you are, even if it seems impossible”. Black Violin goes beyond stating the obvious. Kev and Wil B are advocacy superheroes; devoting time to teaching their skill sets on various platforms. Before performances, they coach younger musicians through educational programs and schools across the country. Moreover, they aim to cultivate the public on the meaning and ability of music.

“We want them to be inspired and feel like they can take on the world and do something outside of the box. Music is just the way we can do what we are here to do. It’s the way we can connect with people and grow; giving them the knowledge to complete themselves.”

Kevin likes to think of himself as “a gardener; dispersing seeds and watering them.” He wants his audience members and scholars to have the same awareness in whatever field they wish to pursue. It’s that “fire” that keeps him going, but it wasn’t always this way:

“I actually wanted to play the sax, but I was placed in the wrong class. I didn’t wake up wanting to play the viola, but I kept going. Eventually, I would find myself trying to mimic other sounds on the strings. This kept opening doors for us and making it fun.”

Now the viola and violin have become second versions of themselves. It’s in the way they hold it and push their voices through it. So much love. “We evoke different emotions but love [music] at the same time in different ways.”

Although you might expect to hear classical redensions, Black Violin is a portal beyond musical boundaries. One where it might have seemed impossible before yet making way for other creatives and not just in the artistic realm. Kev and Wil B encourage people to “find themselves” and replant those same seeds.

“I think people need to know themselves enough to give away whatever it is they were meant to do. If you don’t know yourself, you’re losing touch with reality. There’s a TV show about two billionaires. One of them kept giving money away and said it was the best feeling in the world. He wasn’t happy until he started doing that act. Once we find ourselves, that’s where true happiness is. You won’t find it until you, yourself, attempt to figure it.”

Beyond the humble self-encouragement, expect a performance of expressionism in its emphatic form — the prisms of sound reflecting the engaging audience. Black Violin is breaking the stereotypes of traditional perceptions and audience interaction.

Black Violin will perform at The Gaillard Center on Friday, March 8, 2019.

3/8/19 Tickets: https://gaillardcenter.org/event/black-violin/

Website and links to social: blackviolin.net

“Dreamer” video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jol1da3hjxg