To most people, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and classical are musical genres. But to this revolutionary music group, Black Violin, they're nothing but ingredients. Combining a daunting array of musical styles and influences to produce a signature sound that is not quite maestro, not quite emcee, this group of two classically trained violinists and their DJ are redefining the music world-one string at a time. With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin breaks all the rules, blending the classical with the modern to create something rare.
Hundreds of elementary-age school children, from eight Miami-Dade area schools attended this performance on Thursday, January 19, at the Julius Littman Performing Arts Theatre in North Miami Beach, and watched Wil B on the viola, and Kev Marcus on the violin. Within moments of the first score, children along with their teachers were up on their feet, dancing and waving their arms in the air to the soulful sounds of Bach and Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Choppin.
Wil B and Kev Marcus, both Florida natives, first met while attending the Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, a school whose exceptional music programs served to nurture their already budding talents. After graduating from high school, both Wil and Kev were granted full music scholarships to college. Once formed, the group wasted no time in making a name for themselves, starting with the rigorous touring that would become a trademark of the group, however beyond all the glitz and glamour, the members of Black Violin just want to give children the same opportunities that they had. With school music programs being culled all across the country, Kev and Wil are concerned that urban youth will not have the benefit of music as a positive alternative to other, more destructive pursuits. With this in mind, they have embarked upon a campaign of social change-using youth orchestras and reinvigorated music programs to show children and teens that they are capable of expressing themselves in ways they have never dreamed.
Upcoming presentations of the Alan & Diane Lieberman Children’s Cultural Arts Series includes: The Ugly Duckling & Tortoise and the Hare. For more information about the Series, please call 305-932-4200, or go to www.marjcc.org
# # #
The Michael-Ann Russell JCC is dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life, representing a model of acceptance, understanding and diversity. The MAR-JCC is a beneficiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and United Way of Miami-Dade.