Kev Marcus and Wil B on changing perceptions of Black artists and classical music

Posted on: February 22, 2021

“When Kev Marcus and Wil B met in a high school music class they shared their desire to disrupt people’s impressions of what classical music should be. Together they formed a group called Black Violin,” reports Judy Woodruff in Wednesday’s (2/17) PBS Newshour. In a video interview, the musicians speak about the inspiration for their duo. “I went to the class my first day [in high school], and I noticed all these wood instruments,” says Wil B. “I was looking for the cool instruments, the saxophones and the trumpets. And they told me that I got put in this class. And we were stand partners.” Kev Marcus says, “We have always just made good music…. My college professor [gave] me a tape back in 1999…. It’s like a violin on fire, like a violin with soul.… When I listened to it, I could tell it was a Black guy playing it…. I gave the tape to Wil. And he was vibing it too. Many years later, we named ourselves after the inspiration, the [album] that changed our entire perception…. That album [Stuff Smith’s ‘Black Violin’] changed the way we perceived the violin, so now … Black Violin continues to change and challenge people’s perceptions.”