South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) in Cutler Bay and CultureShockMiami.com present Black Violin, a free concert on Sunday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m., sponsored in part by TD Bank.
Students, ages 13-22, may get tickets through www.cultureshockmiami.com. The general public may obtain a voucher to exchange for up to four tickets per person. For information on vouchers contact the SMDCAC Box Office at 786-573-5300 or visit online at www.smdcac.org for more information.
To most people, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and classical are musical genres. But to revolutionary music group Black Violin, they are nothing but ingredients. Combining a daunting array of musical styles and influences to produce a signature sound that is not quite maestro, not quite emcee, this group of two classically trained violinists along with their deejay and drummer, are redefining the music world-one string at a time.
With influences ranging from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z, Black Violin breaks all the rules, blending the classical with the modern to create something rare, a sound that nobody has ever heard, but that everybody wants to feel.
Miami String Project opens the show. They are a dynamic youth string chamber orchestra comprised of talented young violinists, violists, cellists and bassists between the ages of 12 and 19.
This concert is meant to provide a way for students to be introduced to the new center and to participate in CultureShockMiami.com.
CultureShockMiami.com is a program run by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, dedicated to making Miami-Dade’s rich cultural life affordable and accessible to high school and college students ages 13-22.
Through the site, students may buy tickets for $5 to the best dance, music, theater, film and spoken word events in Miami-Dade County, and two-for-$5 tickets to museums. Tickets donated by cultural organizations are available for purchase through www.cultureshockmiami.com free of any taxes, fees or surcharges. A student must use the first ticket purchased, but the second ticket may be used by a person of any age.
When the members of Black Violin first learned to play their signature instruments — Wil B, the viola at 14, and Kev Marcus, the violin at the tender age of 9 — neither could have foreseen that it would become their livelihood, though it was already becoming their passion.
The two Florida natives first met while attending the Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, a school whose exceptional music programs served to nurture their already budding talents. But it was not until the two were exposed to the work of legendary violinist Stuff Smith that the seeds that would one day become Black Violin were truly planted.
Smith, born in Portsmouth, OH, in 1909, was one of preeminent jazz violinists of the swing era, who went onto perform with names like Alphonse Trent, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sun Ra throughout a long and storied career. His final album and most soulful, titled Black Violin, so inspired and influenced the young Kev Marcus and Wil B that they eventually would name their band in honor of the man who had shown them that there were no limits to what the violin could do.