By Alison Baumgartner
The Lincoln Center is excited to welcome back the popular Black Violin to open for our Classical Convergence Series September 30th, 2017.
Some would think that a classically-trained violinist and violist would focus their career on performing in quartets, but Black Violin doesn’t pay attention to those arbitrary divides in music. Instead, along with turntable whiz DJ SPS, they are inclusive and fuse classical with hip-hop, rock, bluegrass, and R&B. For over 10 years, Black Violin has used their music to empower people of all ages, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic backgrounds to discover what connects us all.
For Black Violin, “every opportunity to connect [to their] diverse fans is an opportunity to break down the barriers that separate us, empower individuality and encourage progress”, and they have done so by playing with artists like Alicia Keys, Wu-Tang Clan and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. They also played for the kids celebration at former-President Obama’s 2013 inaugural festivities.
According to an interview with NPR, their thoughts behind blending such disparate genres as classical and hip-hop is not that unusual.
“They had little shindigs going on back in the days, right? They needed music,” says violist, Wil Baptiste. “So just think of it that way. Like, I’m this guy, I own this big palace — ‘Mozart, listen, what can you whip up, man? I need some new tunes.'”
“So it’s the same kind of thing with hip-hop, ” adds violinist, Kev Marcus. “It’s just like, I need Grandmaster Flash to DJ my party. You know, hip-hop and classical, in a lot of ways, are both party music for different eras.”
Tickets go on sale August 9th, 2017.