Classical 91.5

Across the Universe

The weekly local arts column by Jeff Spevak

Black Violin is not a Frankenstein creation, where we can see all of the parts stitched together, the bolts sticking out of the neck, the lumbering gait. “We approach the performance like rappers, but the music is approached sort of like Beethoven,” says Kev Marcus.

Black Violin. Kev Marcus on violin, Wil B on viola. Plus a DJ and drums. On Thursday, they’re bringing this surprising fusion of classical and hip-hop to Kodak Center, 200 W. Ridge Road.

The band’s new album, “Take the Stairs,” was released earlier this week.

It was the early 1980s and Christine Lavin's longtime boyfriend, a lawyer, told her a special guest would be joining them for dinner at a Manhattan restaurant. "But he wouldn't tell me who, because he figured I wouldn’t show up," Lavin says.

There are times when Greg Townson seems to be spread so thin, you can read these words right through him. He’s a co-founder of The Hi-Risers, the glorious garage-rock trio, a steady part of the Rochester scene since 1989. Playing guitar on tours with soul singer John Ellison and pop singer Eleni Mandell. Or he’s jetting back and forth between here and London as a hired guitar, or to produce a record for a band like the Swiss rockabilly outfit Hillbilly Moon Explosion. The song, “My Love For Evermore,” Townson says, “is a standard in Europe, people have it tattooed on them.

This is the start. It’s like the opening moments of a “Star Trek” episode, where you know the new young guy in the blue shirt will be the one to die at the hands of an alien, before Captain Kirk works it out. Likewise, the editors at WXXI have shot down all of my suggestions, so you can help name this column. Until then, it’s called “Your Name Here.”