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Jazz musician Hermon Mehari returns to Kansas City

Hermon Mehari is playing a trumpet
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga
KCUR 89.3
Hermon Mehari's new album "ASMARA" released on November 18th, 2022.

World-touring jazz trumpeter Hermon Mehari is back in Kansas City to perform music from his new album "ASMARA," inspired by his family's Eritrean roots, at the Folly Theater.

When Hermon Mehari makes his way back to Kansas City, it’s something of an event.

Mehari is an award-winning jazz trumpeter based in Paris, France, and the host of The Sessionon KCUR 89.3. In the years since he graduated from University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2010, Mehari has become a player-to-hear on the international jazz scene.

Mehari released a new album titled "ASMARA" last year. The album was named after the capital of Eritrea, where his parents are from.

"I was born here, but my family is Eritrean," Mehari told KCUR's Up To Date on Friday.

Even though Mehari is a jazz trumpeter, he didn't always perform music that reflected his own heritage.

"I grew up with the music around me and within our Eritrean community, at every birthday and gathering we would listen to the music," Mehari said. "But it wasn't until 2020 during the pandemic, where I started to explore this music and come at it from my musical side. I really dove deep, and that's where this idea for the album came about."

Mehari says that headlining a show at the Folly Theater in Kansas City is a full-circle moment.

Hermon Mehari performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Folly Theater. Tickets available here.

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