At the Sons of Winter festival, the Eritrean breath of Hermon Mehari

At the Sons of Winter festival, the Eritrean breath of Hermon Mehari

Double concert in Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), Thursday February 2, this is the principle of the Sons d’hiver festival: the young trumpeter in sight, Hermon Mehari (born in 1987 in Jefferson City, Missouri) , present Asmara, between jazz and Eritrean music, before the illustrious German pianist Joachim Kühn (born in 1944) in a trio.

Joachim Kühn, his stratospheric career, his inexhaustible energy, the freshness of his spontaneity, we no longer present them. The reconstitution of one of his historic trios – Majid Bekkas (oud) and Ramon Lopez (drums) – some twenty years later is an event.

“Twenty years later”, title by Alexandre Dumas, it’s just right: Hermon Mehari, a young American trumpeter of Eritrean origin, is a great reader of Alexandre Dumas, Giono, Italo Calvino… In the text, please. To learn languages.

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Paving the way for Joachim Kühn, Hermon Mehari presents his work in progress, Asmara (Komos Jazz), with a group of formidable efficiency: Peter Schlamb, his accomplice from Kansas City, piano and vibraphone; Luca Fattorini on bass and Gautier Garrigue, the most requested young drummer. Plus a very popular Eritrean singer, political exile in Switzerland, Faytinga. The Mehari parents had fled the war against Ethiopia, near Jefferson City, in 1979. He only went to the country once. He was 5 or 6 years old.

In 2019, he moved to Paris, ran clubs, recorded Bleu : “I have always loved Paris. After six years, I have quite a few friends: daily life, dinners with friends, always surrounded by creative people, cultivated people, very inspiring, I feel at home. »

Over-curious about everything

As slender as it is supple, releasing this “beauty of intelligence” of which Dumas speaks, he is also a fine gourmet and can mention all the refined wine cellars of Belleville, his chosen territory. During confinement, he withdrew to Corrèze, with a fine connoisseur, Geoffrey Finch, organizer of guided tours around wine. Beautiful vocation. In his retirement, Hermon Mehari researches and studies Eritrean styles and rhythms.

On the trumpet, he is said to be gifted. Above all, he is over-curious about everything. He discovered jazz and improvisation, a revelation, during his studies at the conservatory of the University of Missouri Kansas City. Forming a trio, Diverserecording with his teacher, saxophonist Bobby Watson: “I am a trumpeter who particularly likes sax, Coltrane above all. » In Kansas City, he listens to Prince and Michael Jackson, falls in love with hip-hop, R & B, soul, Latin rock, DJ, electro.

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