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Black Violin — BV20: Then & Now

Black Violin — BV20: Then & Now
Doors open at 6:30 PM

Get ready for an unforgettable evening celebrating the 20th anniversary of Black Violin, the groundbreaking duo that has captivated audiences around the globe, harmoniously merging the sophistication of classical melodies with the rhythmic pulse of hip-hop. Experience the evolution of Black Violin from their humble beginnings to widespread acclaim with a show that promises to leave you feeling inspired, energized, and uplifted. Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste take the stage — along with Nat Stokes on drums, DJ SPS on the turntable, and Liston Gregory on the keys — blending classical strings with hip-hop beats through a performance that defies expectations and redefines genres. Kev and Wil illustrate the journey of their 20-year career, highlighting the moments that shaped them into the musical trailblazers they are today — from high school orchestra classmates to triumphant winners at Showtime at the Apollo to captivating headline performers and music education advocates.

With new music that pushes boundaries and revitalized classics that have stood the test of time, this show is a testament to the duo’s growth, passion, and dedication to their craft. Don’t miss your chance to experience Black Violin live and celebrate two decades of music that has touched the hearts and souls of fans worldwide. Join us for an evening of celebration, inspiration, and the power of chasing your dreams with Black Violin’s BV20: Then & Now.


Contact, call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046, visit the box office at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, or purchase online. Tickets go on sale August 28 at 10:00am.

$45 Tier 1
$35 Tier 2
$25 Tier 3
$15 Students/Children


Parking can be challenging, particularly for sold-out events. Please allow extra time to park and arrive at the theatre before showtime. See map for parking recommendations.


App State is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828-262-3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

Schaefer Center parking map

About Black Violin

For nearly two decades, Black Violin has been merging string arrangements with modern beats and vocals and building bridges in communities along the way. Members Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste first met in orchestra class at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., becoming classically trained on the violin and viola through their high school and college careers. Post-college, they reconvened to produce beats for South Florida rappers, and began building an audience in local clubs. They later went on to win Showtime at the Apollo in 2005, and eventually sold out headline performances at venues across the country, including a sold out two-night headline run at The Kennedy Center in 2018. NPR took note and declared, “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.” Black Violin’s 2019 album release, Take the Stairs, earned a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.” The band also recently received their second ever Grammy Award nomination for the track “The Message” as Best Americana Performance, in collaboration with The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Black Violin plays roughly 200 shows a year; many of which are performances for young, low-income students in urban communities. In the last year alone, the group has played for over 100,000 students with the goal of challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like. “The stereotypes are always there, embedded so deep in our culture,” says Wil. “Just by nature of our existence, we challenge those ideas. It’s a unique thing that brings people together who aren’t usually in the same room, and in the current climate, it’s good to bring people together.”

In 2019, the group launched the Black Violin Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth by providing access to quality music programs in their community. BVF believes that music and access to music programs should not be determined by race, gender, or socio-economic status. Black Violin Foundation’s inaugural program, the Musical Innovation Grant for Continuing Education, will provide scholarships to young music students to attend a program of their liking that fosters musical creativity and innovation.

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Photo credits: Shannon Flack (top); Doug Mitchell (bottom)