For Wilner Baptiste and Kevin Sylvester, learning to play classical music wasn't their childhood dream. Baptiste, who plays under the stage name Wil B, wanted to learn the saxophone, but viola was the only instrument. In Sylvester's (stage name Kev Marcus) case, he got himself in "a little trouble," and his mom made him go to Saturday morning violin class.
- Photo Courtesy Of Mark Clennon
- RELUCTANT CLASSICAL As children, neither Kev Marcus nor Wil B were interested in playing the violin and viola, but thanks to their strong mothers, they persevered, eventually becoming Black Violin and playing March 20 at the SLO Performing Arts Center.
Luckily, they both stuck with it under the same music teacher at Fort Lauderdale's Dillard High School. Wil B earned a full scholarship at Florida State University, and Kev Marcus earned a full scholarship at Florida International University. After graduation, they formed the classical meets hip-hop duo Black Violin, started taking their music to clubs, and eventually played sold-out shows at the Kennedy Center and the Apollo Theater. They've collaborated with Alicia Keys, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, the Wu-Tang Clan, and others.
Also, at the SLOPAC, enjoy organist Christian Elliot as he accompanies the 1929 silent comedy Why Be Good? As part of the Forbes Organ Series on Thursday, March 17 (7:30 p.m.; $25.60 to $32 at pacslo.org).
Americana singer-songwriter Doc Oliver has a helluva story. He served two tours in Afghanistan as a Marine Corps combat medic, stitching up wounded soldiers and civilians. In 2012, following a "mass casualty incident" that occurred when he and other soldiers were ambushed by the Taliban and during which he lost three friends, he was "medically retired and honorably discharged" from the service. Suffering from PTSD, he returned home and, then, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. She died at 57, two days after Oliver's 30th birthday. Talk about having some life experiences to draw from! His therapy became songwriting.
- Photo Courtesy Of Doc Oliver
- SERVICE, MAN Former Marine Corps combat medic turned Americana singer-songwriter Doc Oliver plays March 19 at The Siren.
This Saturday, March 19, Doc Oliver plays Morro Bay's The Siren with self-described "dumpster-folk, thrift store-Americana duo" The Rough & Tumble. (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $10 presale at eventbrite.com or $12 at the door).
Also at The Siren this week, celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Mini Nova on Thursday, March 17 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). Featuring guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band and saxophonist Scott Martin of War, this is a true supergroup! They play Latin, jazz, funk, R&B, and more.
Get your reggae fix when True Zion and Resination play The Siren on Friday, March 18 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $7 presale at eventbrite.com or $10 at the door). These are both solid roots reggae acts.
For the Folks returns!
The pandemic crushed the music industry, but now many that disappeared are slowly returning, like promoter Ben Bellizzi and his For the Folks concert series.
- Photo Courtesy Of Eric Long
- ECOLOGY MUSICOLOGY Bay Area musicians Eric Long plays a For the Folk show on March 19, at SLO's Whalebird Kombucha—a benefit for ECOSLO's environmental initiatives.
"We're having our first For the Folks show next Saturday, March 19, back at Whalebird Kombucha—3576 Empleo St. SLO—for the first time in five years," Bellizzi said. "The show is a benefit for ECOSLO's environmental initiatives, with Bay Area folk artists Late for the Train and Eric Long performing. We have a full year shaping up at Bang the Drum, but this first one is a little outside show to start things off where we started years ago."
The doors open at 5:30 p.m.; tickets are $12 (kids 12 and under free), available at eventbrite.com. Proceeds support ECOSLO.
More music ...
Burning, Bad, & Cool plays this Thursday, March 17, at Puffer's of Pismo (6:30 p.m.). Featuring Burning James of the Funky Flames fame, "Bad" Billy Bax, and Jimmy "Cool" Conroy, they'll lay some sweet sounds: "We perform Southern fried soul and gospel classics dipped in sweet three-part harmonies," according to the band.
Classic '60s rock cover band Unfinished Business plays Cass Winery's Spring Release Weekend on Friday, March 18 (6 to 8 p.m.; $10 at my805tix.com). Enjoy some pre-release vintages, a gorgeous sunset, and some killer vintage tunes.
The world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra plays the Clark Center on Saturday, March 19 (4 p.m.; $39 to $52 at clarkcenter.org). Expect timeless swing hits such as "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade," "Tuxedo Junction," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," and more. As the late Glenn Miller said, "A band ought to have a sound of its own. It ought to have a personality."
The SLO Wind Orchestra plays An Evening in England this Saturday, March 19, at the Harold J. Miossi CPAC at Cuesta College (7:30 p.m.; $20 to $30 at cuesta.universitytickets.com). It will feature a set of historically important British music led by Director Jennifer Martin and performed by the SLO Winds and the Cuesta Wind Ensemble. You'll hear compositions by Gustav Holst, Kenneth Alford, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
On Sunday, March 20, Symphony of the Vines presents Gallant Guitar at Cass Winery (5:30 p.m.; $15 to $30 at my805tix.com). Local guitar virtuoso Jack Cimo collaborates with Symphony of the Vines string players for a variety of works, including the famous quintet for guitar and strings by Luigi Boccherini.
Portland singer-songwriter Jeffrey Silverstein plays SLO's A Satellite of Love on Wednesday, March 23 (7 p.m.; $7). He's touring in support of Torii Gates, his new EP on Arrowhawk Records.
"It is the follow-up to You Become the Mountain, my 2020 debut LP, which NPR described as 'cosmic country with a gentle sweetness' and drew comparisons to Bill Frisell/David Berman over at Bandcamp," Silverstein said. "This EP is largely a celebration of the unknown, small joys, and learning to be comfortable with transition." Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at firstname.lastname@example.org.