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Best Collaborator 

Hermon Mehari

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Many fine musicians around town are involved with a number of bands. What makes Hermon Mehari different is the way he jumps seamlessly among genres (and the cliques and scenes that arise around what he does). Let's set aside his annual tribute to Michael Jackson, which sold out RecordBar in August. At The Pitch's Music Showcase this year, rapper Reach performed with Mehari's jazz trio Diverse, and the result was like something you'd hear on an old A Tribe Called Quest record. A few hours later, Mehari was playing his trumpet at McCoy's with John Velghe and the Prodigal Sons, an Americana act. And was that Mehari we spied through the thicket of bodies onstage at the midnight Hearts of Darkness set? Mehari again! That's some serious love of the game, and we're damn proud that he's out there hustling, connecting and quietly making Kansas City a livelier place for music.

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