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Hermon Mehari-Asmara Folly Theatre February 18

7:00 pmJazz Talk 8:00 pm-Concert

Like many other Mid-Mo students, Hermon Mehari attended grade school and high school. Then, wanting to spread his wings, he moved to the city to attend college.

His ticket was the trumpet. He had a good base in music and a budding interest in jazz when he arrived in Kansas City. Studying with Bobby Watson at UMKC was about to open doors Hermon may not have known existed.

His college band, which he led, was called ‘Diverse.’ They were like any other group of band geeks that really wants to do more with the music. Then, they entered a contest at an Idaho jazz festival. With that chance to do a gig, the drove themselves out to Idaho in a closed-window van, all 5 of them, and won the dang contest.

The prize was a major-label record deal. Origin Records, based in Seattle released the album ‘Diverse’ by the band Diverse, with Professor Robert Watson Jr, as their Special Guest.

More than ten years later, 3 of the original ‘Diverse’ band members are still professional, recording musicians. Hermon Mehari has lived in Paris for several years. In his mid-thirties, Hermon’s latest recording is entitled Asmara.

The story is based on the pilgrimage he recently took to his Father’s native city of Mendefera. It also “pays homage to the courage of the man who dared to leave his native land of Eritrea.” His father left for the United States in 1979, in the midst of a war with Ethiopia. Hermon will be back in Kansas City this month to officially release the album Asmara and to celebrate the life of his father.

Hermon will present the music of ASMARA on February 18th at the the Folly Theater, 12th & Central in Kansas City as part of the continuing Folly Jazz Series. Tickets and information at

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