Toppa Top 14: LargeUp’s Guide to South by Southwest 2014

March 10, 2014

Black Violin


We have to be honest, we didn’t know about this group’s Caribbean roots until LargeUp contributor and Trini producer EchoSlim, who serves as their DJ, put us up recently. The group is made up of two classically-trained musicians: Wil Baptiste, who is Haitian and plays viola, keys and sings; and Kev Marcus, from Dominica, who plays violin. The genre-busting hip-hop act began a decade ago, taking the name Black Violin from an album by the preeminent African-Americanย swing-era jazz violinist Stuff Smith. These guys are no strangers to SXSWโ€”last year they played right before Dave Grohl’s keynote address, and at Wyclef’s showcase. This year, they have a ton of dates lined upโ€”pick one (or a few!). Who knows, they might even drop their “reggae set,” in which the duo reinterpret popular dancehall tunes on strings.โ€”Kieran Meadows