LIMA — The comeback season has officially arrived to Veterans Memorial Civic Center. On Thursday night, Crouse Hall will play host to one of the most unique duos in music, Black Violin.
The group formed by Wil B playing the viola and Kev Marcus playing the violin blends traditional classical music with today’s hip-hop hits. They’ve won over the toughest crowd in the world at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. They’ve worked with music superstars that range from the likes of Alicia Keys to Linkin Park. They became a Grammy-nominated group in 2020 for their album “Take The Stairs.”
Their main goal, though? Make classical music cool again.
“I think we’re kind of breathing life into the art form a little bit,” Marcus said. “I think a lot of kids get to see us and be like, ‘Wow, I didn’t think the violin could be so cool.’ This idea of a cool factor, I think we bring a lot of that, and classical has been trying to be cooler, mimic it a little bit, and you see it in all kinds of ways.”
Tickets remain available to Thursday night’s show in Lima via the Civic Center’s box office.
Marcus also said that he hopes that the group’s influence will not only help grow the genre but also make it more diverse, something that the duo’s foundation is focused on.
“Only 2 percent of the string students in America today are Black. Four percent are Latino, so there’s 6 percent that’s there that are kind of black and brown, and that number is a little low to us,” he said. “We’ve been working on trying to be able to give equity to the arts, especially in our schools, and especially if it’s done so much for us.”
The combination of two wildly different genres bring a sound and a show that can’t be offered by any other group. Marcus said that he hopes that the crowd comes to be educated just as much as they come to be entertained Thursday night.
“We hope that you learn something about yourself. We’re going to show you things that you’ve never seen before in ways that you’ve never seen or heard them,” Marcus said. “So I guess our ending challenge or question or call to action for our audiences is, ‘What can you do that no one else thought was possible?’”
It seems like an impossible task to mix Bach with Cardi B, but Black Violin made it a formula for success. Up on the stage, they are unapologetically themselves, which can bring the crowd inspiration on a different level.
“It allows a kid to see themselves when they see me on stage with my hat backwards or my sagging pants, and I’m just me, I’m doing me,” Marcus said. “It allows them to see themselves in me, and it definitely seems to benefit the classical side.”
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398