Black Violin to Begin 2015 MSU Lyceum Series Later This Month

MSU Black Violin

Black Violin includes the classically trained South Florida duo Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester.

STARKVILLE, Miss. (Press Release) — Mississippi State’s spring-semester Lyceum Series begins Jan. 26 with a hip hop duo of classically trained string musicians who met while playing in their Florida high school orchestra.

The university performance by Black Violin begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Bettersworth Auditorium of historic Lee Hall. Lyceum organizers are reminding patrons that the Monday concert initially had been scheduled for the following evening, Jan. 27.

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased in advance via MSU students are admitted free with identification cards.

Wil B–Wilner Baptiste’s stage name–and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester met while attending Ft. Lauderdale’s Dillard High School of Performing Arts. After college, they joined the South Florida hip-hop studio scene, working with different acts until deciding to fuse the two musical genres. The merger has become a groundbreaking collaboration.

Black Violin is named after an album by Stuff Smith (1909-67), a preeminent African American swing-era jazz violinist.

Since forming a decade ago, the violin-viola duo has averaged 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries. The two also have been featured at three official Super Bowl celebrations, as well as the U.S. Open at New York’s West Side Tennis Club.

In the studio, their accomplishments have included, among others, scoring an episode of the television series “CSI: New York.” For more, visit

MSU, the Magnolia State’s flagship research university, is found online at

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