After touring with the likes of Linkin Park, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and many other respected artists, Black Violin made their second appearance on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.
Black Violin’s success was not accomplished overnight. After meeting at Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Will B and Kev Marcus began studying under legendary violinist Stuff Smith. Smith’s last album, “Black Violin,” later became their group name.
The group officially formed after Will B and Marcus received music grants to Florida State and Florida International University, respectively. Since then, they have taken off and don’t seem to be looking back.
Many people probably missed out on the event because they assumed that Black Violin was simply a classical act. However, those who were in attendance could tell it would not be your typical classic music as soon the two performers came onto the stage. Dressed in casual street clothing and carrying their violins, Will B and Marcus unleashed their music on the MC crowd.
It was hard to distinguish where exactly Black Violin got all of their influence, but their music could best be described as a mix between classical, jazz, hip-hop, and a whole lot of energy. The audience instantly started feeling the music, most throwing their hands in the air and at some points clapping along to the beat. Some students even made their ways to the front, where they began dancing.
Black Violin played many radio hits that most of the crowd recognized. They also played a few classical pieces, but even then their DJ dropped a beat in to change the mood.
Although very musically talented, the group brought something besides music to the stage: humor. At many points in the concert, the two would take time to crack a few jokes, some directed toward each other, which led to a “freestyle battle” of violins in which they went back and forth for four minutes or so. In the end, Marcus was declared the winner.
After the concert, Matt Likins, a junior at MC, weighed in on the show: “I really just went to the show because a few of my friends went, but by the end I was up dancing like there was no tomorrow. It was a great show.”
Black Violin displayed stage presence, endless talent and a true passion for music in their performance. If you missed Black Violin this time, you can still get their newly released album, which can be found on their website and on iTunes.