Classical training on instruments like the violin or the viola can easily pave the way for a musician to get to work with some of the finest orchestras in the world, but that’s not the only place where classical training has led musicians.

Hey there – my name’s Garrett McQueen, and on this edition of Noteworthy I’d like to highlight a classically trained duo known as Black Violin.

It all began when a violinist known as Kev Marcus and a violist, Wil B, submitted a tape to Showtime at the Apollo. Once they were invited to perform there, they were an instant hit, which led them to collaborations with some of today’s biggest stars in hip hop and r&b, including Alicia Keys, and Wu-Tang Klan.

Since those days, Black Violin has continued performing and touring, and have developed an immense catalogue of works that showcase what they uniquely bring to the field at the intersection of violin and viola playing with hip hop. This tune is one that they call A-Flat.

In addition to expanding ideas around the violin and viola, Black Violin engages philanthropy in a big way, reaching over 100,000 students a year through their partnerships with youth orchestras and community organizations. This, alongside their many other accolades, make Black Violin an extremely NoteWorthy part of the classical music ecosystem in America.

NoteWorthy is a production of WDAV Classical Public Radio.

Pictured (left to right): Wil B and Kev Marcus of Black Violin by Mark Clenon.