Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Black Violin

“Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play...Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists; at others they fiddle as if at a hoe-down; at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars.” – NY Times

It’s almost impossible to come up with names of African-American violin players who have made their mark on pop music. The search is over! Classically trained Wil Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, the founders of BLACK VIOLIN are the new standard. There has been no band to meticulously meld classical, hip-hop, rock and pop music into a single genre busting act- until now.

Violin and viola virtuosos, Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus met in their Fort Lauderdale, Florida high school orchestra. They reconnected after college and paired up as hip-hop studio rats until they decided to return to their musical roots. Fusing classical and pop music led to their ground- breaking collaboration.

BLACK VIOLIN has performed for everybody from American troops in Iraq to the official President’s and Kids Inaugural Balls in Washington, DC. They even shook hands and man- hugged President Barak Obama.

BLACK VIOLIN has headlined over 40 shows and sold out 16 of those performances at the New Victory Theater on Broadway in November of 2013. They have wowed audiences at the legendary Harlem Apollo Theater. BLACK VIOLIN has accompanied Alicia Keyes on “Karma” at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards and nailed their performance of “Stereo Hearts” on VH-1’s unplugged with Gym Class Heroes and Fall Out Boy’s, Patrick Stump.

It has been a whirl-wind decade for Black Violin. Their name inspired by none other than the preeminent swing- era violinist Stuff Smith, Wil and Kev have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states in 36 countries. They have played at 3 NFL Super bowls and at last year’s US Open in Forest Hills, NY with Jordin Sparks.

To appreciate Black Violin’s expansive musical accomplishments, it’s best to list them in order for your maximum appreciation!


• Played with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda’s Fort Minor
Opened for Fat Joe, Akon and Wu-Tang Clan
Collaborated with P. Diddy, Kanye, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, and The Eagles
• Played strings for Lupe Fiasco’s Grammy-nominated album, “Food and Liquor 2”
• Appeared on Meek Mill’s “Maybach Curtains” with John Legend, Rick Ross and Nas.
• Scored the soundtrack for an episode of “CSI: New York”
• Signed with Universal Music Classics (2014)
• Become the in-house preferred private performers for Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz
• Was the only band invited to perform at Google’s “Zeitgeist Minds Conference”. Audience members included presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and diplomatic emissaries such as Snoopdogg
• Performed their hit, “VIRTUOSO” on the Queen Latifah Show, April 2014

Black Violin is the only band that combines classically trained musicians/ vocalists with pop, blues, hip-hop and bluegrass music, and is the only band of its kind to appeal to mass audiences of all generations.

So open your ears, your heart and soul—to the ground-breaking sounds of Black Violin!

$10 student tickets available at the Portland'5 Box Office with photo ID.

*Service charges apply.

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall : Upcoming Events


Portland'5 welcomes comedian and actor Ron White to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for a night of stand...

Showing: 05/27

Monqui welcomes Leon Bridges to the Portland'5 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 8pm...

Showing: 05/28

Showbox presents The Lumineers at the Portland'5 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at...

Showing: 05/31

Metropolitan Youth Symphony presents their spring downtown concert at the Portland'5 Arlene Schnitzer...

Showing: 06/05

Monqui welcomes horror master John Carpenter to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Wednesday, June 15,...

Showing: 06/15

World Affairs Council of Oregon welcomes Bill McKibben to the Portland'5 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on...

Showing: 06/16