How is it that you can know someone almost his entire life and still not know enough about him?
I have known Mark Lowrey since he was a curly-haired kindergartner with beautiful blue eyes. This young man with a beguiling innocence and heart larger than Kansas City has grown into an assured adult and huge talent.
I remember watching him walk home from school with my son, Kevin, and their mutual friend, Nick. All three of them giggled as they dropped homework assignments, field trip forms and notes from teachers to parents.
In fifth grade when they went to Space Camp in Hutchison, Kansas, I traveled out there to see them snapped into spacesuits and defying gravity. And I watched with utter amazement and absolute respect as Mark courageously played at his high school baccalaureate the very same week his father passed away unexpectedly. He did this because he was needed.
Watching this young man grow in stature, character, talent, maturity, and elegance has been my privilege. It will also be my extreme honor to have him play for you at the Reading Reptile release party for THE LITTLE PIANO GIRL.
Years ago when I first told him about this book project, he agreed that Mary Lou Williams’ life and music were worthy of a book for children. I’m glad he thinks my work merits his time and talent.
For more about Mark, go to www.kansascity.com archives for January 7, 2010. Here’s a bit of what he says about one of his projects:
“It is an experiment in cross-genre improvisation, melding groove-oriented free jazz with freestyle rapping.”
Make sense to you? Me, neither.