RENTON, Wash. – Even at a young age, Quinton Morris knew he was destined for greatness.
“I always knew the world was my oyster, and as cliché as that sounds, there was always this little voice inside of me,” Morris said.
That little voice told him nearly 30-years ago to pick up the violin.
“Or maybe the violin picked me, I don’t know,” Morris said.
As a young African-American growing up in Renton, he thanks his college professor for recognizing his talents.
“I didn’t really know any other African American violinist who played a professional level, Morris said. “She really inspired me and really taught me that there was this whole world that was just waiting for me to get out there and get in it.”
Morris is now considered a virtuoso on the violin. As a professional artist, he has played with the best symphonies and sold out Carnegie Hall three times as a soloist.
This past year, Morris embarked on a 9-month World Tour. He performed in France, Malaysia and Guadeloupe. He also shot a short film and introduced his passion to underprivileged kids.
“It caused me to reflect on how thankful I am, and how I have a really great life,” Morris said. “And having a great life can only be enriched if I give back.”
Today, Morris who is a tenured professor at Seattle University, not only wants to teach at the highest level, but he also wants to return to his roots where he believes is needed.
“It is needed everywhere, but it is really needed in King County,” Morris said.
At the end of this month, he will open two violin studios at community centers in Renton and Maple Valley, part of his Key to Change Project.
“It is needed because there are not a lot of people who look like me, who are African-American, who are a person of color, who play a European instrument,” Morris said. “Exposure is everything, because now they are able to say, there is somebody that looks like me and I could aspire to be like that too.
To help promote his foundation and studios, Morris will hold a concert this Saturday at the Ikea Performing Arts Center in Renton. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free to the public.
Learn more about Morris and his music here.