Paterson Music Project Blog: Voices of the Silk City February 2019
Just in time for Black History Month, Paterson Music Project students took the stage on Thursday, February 14 for a special performance with internationally renowned hip-hop duo Black Violin. The Valentine’s Day concert took place at the Shea Center for the Performing Arts at William Paterson University. Read the full article here.
Following an afternoon concert for Paterson public school students and students from surrounding districts, revolutionary hip-hop duo Black Violin, known for a “hard-hitting beat with lush string sounds,” performed what could best be described as a transformative evening event accompanied by their band and DJ.
Violinist Wil Baptiste and violist Kev Marcus combine a daunting array of musical styles from jazz, hip-hop and R&B to funk, bluegrass and classical. Using their signature sound often described as “classical boom” to break down stereotypes and cultural barriers, Black Violin has toured with Kanye West, Jay- Z and Linkin Park and has collaborated with Aerosmith, Wynton Marsalis and Elvis Costello. In January 2013, they performed for President Barack Obama at his Second Inauguration.
Says Paterson Music Project Program Director Elizabeth Moulthrop, “We are grateful to William Paterson University for co-presenting this concert and making this opportunity possible for PMP. It was a magical evening for our students last night, performing with Black Violin for a packed house of family and community members. As we walked on stage, the crowd chanted, “PMP, PMP!” The students could not have felt more supported or proud of their work. The students also were able to watch part of the show and rehearse with Black Violin. The hip-hop duo’s music and message are both relevant and inspiring to our students. Students can see firsthand what is possible when you mix hard work and passion for your craft.”
Rachel Diaz, a PMP viola student, reflects on her experience from her day with Black Violin.
How did you like the piece “Shaker”?
I enjoyed playing the piece “Shaker”. It was a fun piece and was worth the time we spent working on it.
How did the experience differ from rehearsal versus performing on stage?
In rehearsal, we don’t have LED lights around us or a DJ or a drummer. So, it was very different playing alongside Black Violin.
How did this feel different that your other concerts/performances?
This felt different from our other performances because not only were our parents there, but others we didn’t know cheered for us. We also got to meet two amazing violinists who allowed us to ask questions.
What was your favorite part of the workshop?
My favorite part was when we got to meet them and they told us more about themselves.
What was the biggest takeaway for you?
The biggest takeaway was that you can make something great from the things you like.