Conservatory Jazz Alum Hermon Mehari Releases New Album

The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to announce that jazz alum Hermon Mehari (BM, 2010) is releasing his first album as a leader.  Mehari is based in Paris and Kansas City and has also spent the last decade working with his project Diverse.

Bleu features Aaron Parks on keyboards and piano, Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Rick Rosato on bass, alum Ryan J. Lee (B.M. 2012) on drums, and Peter Schlamb on vibraphone and electric vibraphone. It is available as of Friday, March 17, 2017.

Bleu is comprised of an eclectic mix of originals, standards, and covers. “My goal has always been to utilize my variety of musical inspirations within a jazz context and I’m happy to say that I was able to do just that with this band and this music,” says Mehari.

Invigorated and inspired from winning the Carmine Caruso International Trumpet Jazz Competition and being a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition, Hermon Mehari finally felt ready to display his musical concept as a leader through recording. He has spent the past ten years touring and performing with musicians Bobby Watson, Logan Richardson, Jaleel Shaw, Ben van Gelder as well as many others that certainly prove he is no stranger to the jazz scene.

Many of Mehari’s past projects and collaborations have involved singers, emcees, and musicians from all types of genres. This influence is evident throughout Bleu, especially in the cover of NYC-based singer songwriter Nick Hakim’s Cold with special guest vocalist Kevin Johnson.

In addition, Bleu carries the theme of its namesake. “I feel strongly about this color being present in my playing and my music. My time in Kansas City has had this strong effect on me, which I think you can also hear in many other musicians that come from there throughout history,” says Mehari.

Bleu will be available on all major digital retailers on Friday, March 17. It will also be available on CD through Mehari’s website, in select stores in the United States, and soon in select countries in Europe and Asia. 

Congratulations, Hermon, who is also the 2017 UMKC Alumni Spotlight Award winner.  

Published: Mar 2, 2017