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Classical/Hip-Hop Duo Black Violin Honored at the Caribbean American Heritage Awards

The longstanding duo received an award for sustained excellence in the music industry


Black Violin, a crossover duo made up of violinist Kevin Sylvester and violist Wilner Baptiste, has been honored with an Excellence in Arts prize at the Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) awards.

Run by the Institute for Caribbean Studies (ICS) and patronized by the Caribbean Diplomatic Corps, the awards aim to celebrate the contributions of Caribbean Americans who have been exceptionally successful in their fields at the national and/or international level.

Black Violin has been performing together for 17 years. During that time they were the 2005 winners of Showtime At The Apollo, and they sold out a two-night headline show at the Kennedy Center in 2018. Their most recent album, "Take the Stairs," was nominated for a Grammy award in 2020.

The pair perform over 200 shows every year, many of which are targeted at young, low-income students. In the past year they estimate that they have performed for over 100,000 young people.

"ICS started this event 28 years ago in an effort to highlight to the American community the caliber of individuals that claim Caribbean American ancestry and to provide a forum for honoring and recognizing their contributions to the public good," said Dr. Claire Nelson, ICS Founder and President, of the awards.

"Black Violin represents the creativity that is so indwelling in the Caribbean spirit. We are uplifted by their music. The CARAH nominating committee is very excited that they are able to join us and be honored this year,” she added.


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