YONKERS N.Y. - A Kanye West song comes on and an entire auditorium of Yonkers' students go crazy. Instead of the song's usual beat, two amplified violins play its melody.
Black Violin is comprised of two classically trained violinists from Miami, Kev Marcus and Wil B, and its disc jockey DJ TK. The group fuses classical, jazz, hip-hop, blues and R & B styles of music to create a unique style, that has led them to play with many popular artists including Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Jay Z.
A big part of what the group does is educational outreach, Marcus said.
"The point of the show is to get everyone to think outside the box," Marcus said. "We took violins that have been around for 100 years and did something totally different with them. It doesn't matter if you want to be a doctor, lawyer or a musician, just make sure you make it your own."
The performance was paid for entirely by Saunders faculty, staff, alumni, student and community donations, said event organizer and English teacher Wendy Holibaugh.
“My class teaches students to express themselves, but nothing speaks to our students like music," Holibaugh said. "Our kids loved it because they were really able to connect with it on a level not possible with anything else. We teach our students that anything is possible in class everyday, and hopefully this performance reinforces that notion."
Senior Flabio, 17, said the performance showed him he could do anything he puts his mind to.
"The show was just great because it really caught me off guard," Flabio said. "I really never thought that anything like it was possible. They play violins, but make it sound cool? Who knew that was possible. If these guys can make it doing what they love, then anyone can do the same."
Within the next few years, Black Violin hopes to become a household name, Marcus said.
"We started out as classically trained musicians, and now we're performing with the stars," he said. "We really want to inspire as many people as possible. It's like yeah, we're playing the violin, but have done something completely different with it. We want that mentality to become contagious."
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