Black Violin duo, onstage and behind the scenes supporting young classical musicians of color

Posted on: February 28, 2022

“It took a while for Black Violin to realize its representational power,” writes Seth Sommerfeld in Thursday’s (2/24) Inlander (Spokane, WA). “The Grammy-nominated duo—composed of string-shredding virtuosos Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste—has been melding classical technique and hip-hop flair since 2004, but at the start the guys were more focused on … trying to make good money and land gigs as touring or studio violinists…. ‘As the years went on, we started seeing people bring their kids to see us,’ Marcus says…. ‘The whole schtick is we’re Black guys playing violin…. You start seeing the responsibility that we have and try to use it as a mechanism of good.’ … [They] have played the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra [and] opened for Wu-Tang Clan… Black Violin is currently on a massive tour…. They created the Black Violin Foundation three years ago—to give … grants [to] allow students to continue their musical education. This includes everything from paying for summer camps to [partnering] with the Baroque Violin Shop in Cincinnati to get POC youths string instruments…. ‘We’re just trying to … create more opportunity for young Black and Brown students to find a way to classical music.’ ”