Black Violin Releases Genre-Defying New Album ‘Take the Stairs’


The classical-meets-hip-hop duo Black Violin have released their album Take The Stairs. The album has earned praise from Loudwire, Glide Magazine, and Billboard, who said “Take the Stairs continues to celebrate Black Violin’s genre-less approach to music, from the futuristic anthem ‘One Step’ to the elaborate ‘Serenade.’”

Listen to Take The Stairs:

For 16 years, Black Violin members Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste have been merging string arrangements with modern beats and vocals. The two met in orchestra class at Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, becoming classically trained on the violin and viola through their high school and college careers. Post-college, they reconvened to produce beats for South Florida rappers, and began building an audience in local clubs. They later went on to win Showtime at the Apollo in 2005, and eventually sold out headline performances at venues across the country, including a sold out two-night headline run at The Kennedy Center in 2018. Their unique brand of merging the genre they were listening to (hip hop) with the world they were studying (classical) was celebrated with collaborations with Alicia Keys, Wu Tang Clan, 2 Chainz and others. NPR took note and declared “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.” UPROXX also featured Black Violin in a mini-documentary as part of their “Uncharted” series, watch the video HERE.

The duo plays over 200 shows a year (many of these are performances for young low-income students in urban communities – in the last year alone, the group played for over 100,000 students) with the goal of challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like. “The stereotypes are always there, embedded so deep in our culture,” says Wil. “Just by nature of our existence we challenge those ideas. It’s a unique thing that brings people together who aren’t usually in the same room, and in the current climate, it’s good to bring people together.”

Recently, the group launched the Black Violin Foundation Inc., a non profit organization dedicated to empowering youth by providing access to quality music programs in their community. BVF believes that music and access to music programs should not be determined by race, gender, or socio-economic status. Black Violin Foundation’s inaugural program the Musical Innovation Grant for Continuing Education will provide scholarships to young music students to attend a program of their liking that fosters musical creativity and innovation. Programs can range from private lessons, to summer music camps, to college courses. Scholarships will be awarded bi-annually to up to 20 applicants per scholarship cycle. More info at:

Tour Dates:
11.2.19 – York, PA – Strand Theatre
11.3.19 – Columbus, OH – Ohio Theatre
11.5.19 – Dayton, OH – Victoria Theatre Association
11.6.19 – Toledo, OH – Valentine Theatre
11.7.19 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Center Theater
11.8.19 – Philadelphia, PA – Kimmel Center Academy of Music
11.9.19 – Baltimore, MD – Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
11.13.19 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
11.14.19 – Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma City Community College PAC
11.15.19 – Little Rock, AR – University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College
11.16.19 – Birmingham, AL – The Lyric Theatre
11.17.19 – St. Louis, MO – Touhill PAC
1.14.20 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theater Denver
1.16.20 – Idaho Falls, ID – Colonial Theater
1.17.20 – Logan, UT – Cache Valley Center for the Arts
1.18.20 – Durango, CO – Fort Lewis College Concert Hall
1.20.20 – Boise, ID – Egyptian Theater
1.21.20 – Salt Lake, UT – Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah
1.28.20 – Santa Barbara, CA – Granada Theatre – USB Arts & Lectures
1.29.20 – Las Vegas, NV – UNLV Performing Arts Center
1.31.20 – Chandler, AZ – Chandler Center for the Arts
2.1.20 – Wickenburg, AZ – Del E Webb Center for the Performing Arts
2.8.20 – Orlando, FL – Bob Carr Theatre – Dr. Philips Center
2.12.20 – Fort Myers, FL – Barbra B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
2.13.20 – Tallahassee, FL – Ruby Diamond Concert Hall
2.14.20 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre
2.20.20 – Tampa, FL – Straz Center for the Performing Arts
2.21.20 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Broward Center for the Performing Arts
2.27.20 – San Francisco, CA – Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3.1.20 – Sacramento, CA – The Crest Theatre
3.5.20 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at the Ace Hotel
3.6.20 – Escondido, CA – California Center for the Arts
3.20.20 – Atlanta, GA – Cobb Energy Center
3.26.19 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
3.27.20 – Purchase, NY – PAC at Purchase College
3.29.20 – Norfolk, VA – Chrysler Hall
4.7.20 – Houston, TX – Jones Hall, Society for the Performing Arts
4.15.20 – Providence, RI – The Veterans Memorial Auditorium
4.17.20 – Medford, MA – Chevalier Theatre
4.18.20 – Union, NJ – Wilkins Theatre
5.6.20 – Portland, OR – Portland’5 Keller Auditorium
5.7.20 – Eugene, OR – Hult Center for the Performing Arts