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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mars Parker at Underground Arts, PnB Rock at The Chameleon Club, Maceo Parker at Ardmore Music Hall and more…

Mars Parker | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Mars Parker | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

This week’s Key Studio Session featured Mars Parker, a local artist who blends soulful jazz textures with the realism of hip hop. Tonight he brings his recent Mars Museum 3 release to Underground Arts, opening for Chill Moody and Voss. Check out a Key Session performance of “Selfworth” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Mars Parker

Philly’s Mars Parker came on our radar relatively recently, back when he opened for Camp Candle at Boot And Saddle in October.  But in the grander scheme of things, we’re a little late to the party — Mars has been active in the Soundcloud zone for a few years now, releasing singles, EPs and full-length mixtapes that explore a variety of sounds and approaches to this thing we call hip-hop.

His latest, Mars Museum 3, finds its focus in a surrealistic tapestry of tripped-out jazzy production and warm melodies that strike a the balance between bars that spit and bars that sing. It’s a comfortable flex zone inhabited by luminaries like the Grammy champ Chance the Rapper, party rocker Future, and local celeb PnB Rock. Mars has the style and charisma to sit alongside those names in due time, and he showed his skills off for us in this week’s Key Studio Session. Continue reading →