Black Violin Co-Founder Kev Marcus Plays Yamaha

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Member of groundbreaking classical/hip hop string sensation, Black Violin, favors the Yamaha SV-250 and SV-255.

Yamaha Artist Kev Marcus

Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis is pleased to announce the signing of Kev Marcus, classically trained violinist and half of the innovative American hip hop/classical crossover duo, Black Violin. Marcus plays both the Yamaha SV-250 and the SV-255.

“Kev Marcus is a remarkable addition to our artist roster,” says John Wittmann, Director, Artist Relations, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “His ability to blend classical and modern genres in such unexpected ways makes him a true creative pioneer. We look forward to supporting Kev and the Black Violin as they continue to inspire audiences with their electrifying performances.”

In over ten years of performing together, Black Violin has played with notable acts including the Wu-Tang Clan, Akon and Fat Joe, at venues all over the world. They also worked in the studio with Kanye West, P. Diddy, Aerosmith and Aretha Franklin. The duo has additionally released two mix tapes, BV Mixtape Series: Unleashed Volumes I & II along with a full-length album, the self-titled Black Violin. Their newest release, Classically Trained, is due out on October 30, 2012 and highlights the group’s classical training as well as the various elements of classical music that are shared with hip hop.

Marcus began playing the violin at age nine. While he grew up listening predominantly to hip hop music – Biggie, Jay-Z and Timbaland were all early influences – he also discovered a passion and affinity for classical music early on, favoring the likes of Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius and the impressionists of the late romantic era. His exceptional abilities led him to attend the Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, where he pursued classical training in violin and met his future Black Violin band mate, Wil B.

“It took us a while to figure it out,” recalls Marcus. “We discovered and developed our sound by gauging people’s reactions. It’s basically two genres violently crashing against each other, but people reacted very strongly to it – they loved it.”

The group began touring after Black Violin was born, and in 2004, joined superstar Alicia Keys on stage at the Billboard Music awards. Just one year later in 2005, the group was awarded the coveted title of Apollo Legend by the renowned Apollo Theatre in Harlem, confirming what their growing fan base already knew: Black Violin was here to stay.

High-profile engagements have continued, with the duo recently performing at the Kennedy Center where they played the NFL Superbowl party, opening for Lenny Kravitz. The duo also appeared with Gym Class Heroes on VH-1 Unplugged and are gearing up for a 28-show run this fall at the Victory Theater on Broadway.

Marcus first experienced Yamaha instruments while gigging in Canada. “I really liked the way they felt,” he says. “They had a vibrant, full sound and balanced tone.” Marcus later met Yamaha’s John Wittmann and selected an instrument that Yamaha was able to modify to suit his particular needs and specifications. That instrument was the wireless SV-250, which he’s been playing ever since.

While the duo keeps a busy touring, performing, writing and recording schedule, the cultural significance of their music is far from lost on Marcus. “It surprises people that we are black and play classical violin,” he states. “It’s changing people’s perceptions. We’re humbled by our success and we’ll continue to work very hard.”

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit http://4wrd.it/YAMAHAUSA.

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About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha     Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound     reinforcement and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include:     Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and     electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products,     synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products     and Nexo commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, Blu-ray/CD     players, iPod docking systems, home-theater-in-a-box systems and its exclusive line of     Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and     entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship,     professional music, installation and consumer markets.

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