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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Black Violin Shakes Up Classical And Hip-Hop Worlds At The Carver

Courtesy photo
Black Violin

Black Violin is coming to San Antonio, and they’re probably unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Their sound could be described as two parts hip hop and two parts classical.

"We’re a product of both worlds," said Wilner Baptiste, or Wil B as he’s known.

"The classical/hip hop thing is always something we did to keep our interest in the classics," Baptiste said.

The we to whom he refers is himself and Kevin Sylvester. Together with their band, the Fort Lauderdale natives are called Black Violin. The group is playing at the Carver Cultural Center Friday, Dec. 6. As a teenager, Wil B decided to take up saxophone, and signed up for band camp, but something happened.

"They put me in the wrong class, they put me in strings, so I was stuck with the viola the whole summer," he said. "And I ended up liking it, I loved it, and I had a teacher that, I don't know, saw something in me."

Kevin’s mother saw him hanging with the wrong crowd and made him take up the violin. For some reason it stuck.

"It was natural for us to listen to a hip-hop song and just play something on top of it; it was fun, it was easy" Baptiste said.

They do a lot of outreach shows to high schools, which Baptiste really likes.

"The point of the show is for you to think outside the box," Baptiste said. "For you to take something that you’re passionate about, and taking it further. We tell that to the kids, and the adults alike."

*Show Times: Friday, December 6 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii