Good Morning Obots!
This week we will take a look at accomplished African-american violinists in different genres. Today’s genre: Hip-hop!
The brothers began studying violin at ages 8 and 7, respectively, and eventually studied at the Juilliard School.
In 2005, the duo entered and won a talent competition at the Apollo Theatre in New York. Their victory on Showtime at the Apollo led to media attention and appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show with Katie Couric, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Around the same time the duo showcased their talents at Carnegie Hall and performed for President George W. Bush at The White House.
On January 8, 2006, the Escobars performed their song Thunder at the debut of the redesigned Cadillac CTS at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Nuttin’ But Stringz performed after a classical string quartet. General Motors Corp. executives used the two performances as an analogy, to demonstrate that what used to be good enough (the quartet) needs to be reinvigorated (N.B.S). A video for “Thunder” is also featured on the website for Jack’s Big Music Show on Noggin. The exposure continued when they were featured in the first of five commercials featuring local artists on New York’s local news channel, NY1.
NBS gained some national attention when their unique brand of music secured the brothers a small part in the 2006 dance movie Step Up, and shortly after CBS featured “Thunder” during the 2007 NCAA Tournament. “Thunder” was also featured in the pilot episode of the television series The Black Donnellys, and was sampled in various television commercials.
Both members attended Dillard High School of Performing Arts. After high school Kev Marcus attended Florida International University and Wil B enrolled at Florida State University. At FIU, Kev met their manager Sam G and the three of them co-founded the production company DKNEX which stands for Di-Versatile Music. The group name “Black Violin” is derived from the influence of a famous jazz violinist, Stuff Smith; six months before Smith’s death, he recorded a solo album entitled Black Violin. The duo decided to name their group after the music of the most inspiring violinist they had ever heard.
Black Violin clinched the Showtime at the Apollo 2005 Legend title. Black Violin’s notoriety has risen with their performance accompanying Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Awards, and by performing on the same bill with some of the industry’s biggest artists. The duo also are avid producers and writers. Most recently, they made a star appearance on “Angelina Ballerina” on the PBS channel.