Black Violin, led by classically trained string players Wil B. (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin), will bring their high-energy, genre-bending act to Bloomington this February. Joined onstage by DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes, the band uses their unique blend of classical and hip-hop music to overcome stereotypes while encouraging people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds to join together to break down cultural barriers. In the past year, the band has performed for over 100,000 students in the United States and Europe, and has partnered with Yamaha and NAMM (National Association of Music Manufactures) to continue supporting music education.
Black Violin, alongside artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Elton John, recently joined with Turnaround Arts to bring arts education to struggling schools in underserved communities. Turnaround Arts is a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts founded by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2012. They have been featured on The Tonight Show, Ellen, The Wendy Williams Show, NPR, and more. The group has collaborated creatively with artists such as Kanye West, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean, and Alicia Keys.
Black Violin’s studio album Take the Stairs, released in 2019, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart, #7 on Billboard’s Top New Artists Chart, and #9 on the Billboard Hip Hop and R&B Chart. Their last album, Stereotypes, hit #1 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover chart and #4 on Billboard’s R&B Chart.