Traditional, hard swinging, and laid back are all words that could describe Jim Lower’s playing Style. A Missouri native, Lower has spent a majority of his life studying and performing in and around Kansas City. At the age of 12 Lower received his first drum set and quickly discovered his desire to become a jazz drummer. While many drummers his age were exploring rock, pop, or rap Lower was busy studying Jeff Hamilton’s style of playing. Early on he knew that Hamilton’s infectious style and mastery of the brushes was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Eventually drummers like Mel Lewis, Elvin Jones, “Philly” Joe Jones, Buddy Rich, and Shelly Manne began influencing Lower.
Self-taught until college, Lower would attend the University Of Central Missouri earning a BA in Jazz Studies. At UCM Lower spent his time studying music performance and music pedagogy with Dr. Michael Sekelsky and Dr. David Aaberg all while regularly performing throughout Kansas City. After graduation, Lower spent a short amout of time at the University of Northern Colorado but midway through his time he decided that UNC was not the right fit for him. Eventually he would return to Kansas City where he began weaving himself into the Kansas City music scene. After taking some time away from school he rediscovered his passion for music and more importantly teaching music and decided to finish his masters at the University of Missouri Kansas City finishing his Masters In Jazz Studies.
As a performer Lower regularly performs throughout the Kansas City jazz scene and has been involved in everything including piano trio, big band, and organ trio. Lower also runs a 16-piece Jazz Orchestra dedicated to the music of the Terry Gibbs Dream Band, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, and the post Thad Jones music of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Lower currently resides in Grain Valley, just outside Kansas City, with his wife Ashleigh.