Mark Lowrey vs. Hip-Hop 

Republicans and NASCAR, baby boomers and suburban cul-de-sacs, Hollywood actors and prescription narcotics — certain things, it seems, are simply meant for each other. Jazz and hip-hop, like the freewheeling country of their birth, share America's fascination with up-by-the-bootstraps improvisation. In jazz, chords are like urban settings — skeletal structures that house and inspire creativity and rebellion. Similarly, hip-hop artists carve out reputations on street corners, where MCs square off like modern gunslingers with only imagination, intellect and words in their arsenals. Fans of these spontaneous musical art forms can watch two genres collide Friday, January 8, during Mark Lowrey vs. Hip-Hop at Czar Bar. Local jazz pianist Mark Lowrey rocks bass synth, keyboards and toy piano as veteran Kansas City MCs including Les Izmore, Vertigone and Swayzorbladez collaborate with freestyle lyrics. Holding down the drumsticks are Brandon Draper, Zack Albetta and Giuliano Mingucci. All together, it should make for a rich fusion of both of America's homegrown musical forms.

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