Conservatory Jazz Alum Hermon Mehari Wins First Prize


The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to note that Hermon Mehari (BM, jazz performance) has won the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition, held Sept. 19, 2015 at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.  The first place prize includes an award of $10,000.  Finalist judges included Bobby Shew, Clay Jenkins, and Ingrid Jensen.

First held in 1993, The Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition is considered the most prestigious competition for jazz trumpeters in the world. Carmine Caruso was one of the world’s greatest brass teachers. It is to the man and his work that the 2013 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition is dedicated.

Caruso was born on November 2, 1904, lived his entire life in New York, and died on May 26, 1987. Although he played all the woodwind and string instruments, Caruso made his living as a saxophone player, performing in ballrooms and on radio shows. He played his last his last club date on his 70th birthday in 1974. Caruso took his first trumpet student in 1942, and within a year had forty brass students. Brass players from all over the world traveled to New York to study with him, and he developed a reputation for being able to help players improve.

Hermon, who is part of the group Diverse, won the jazz division of the 2008 National Trumpet Competition and took 2nd Place in the 2010 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition in Sydney, Australia. He is a 2014 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award recipient. Hermon has performed overseas with Bobby Watson at the Blues to Bop Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, along with Diverse on European tours.

Read the Kansas City Star article here.


For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949