227 – Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez: His New Big Band Album, Revolutionary Rock Roots,
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1963, ‘El Negro’ Hernandez has been a force on the international scene since 1990. Whether performing with jazz legends like McCoy Tyner or Michel Camilo, rock stars like Carlos Santana and Stevie Winwood or in notable Latin American ensembles like the Tropi-Jazz All Stars of the late Tito Puente, ‘El Negro’ has also shown himself to be one of the most versatile musicians in the international music scene today. He is the author of Conversations in Clave, one of the drumming world’s most widely used and well-respected method books, and he has just released his first big band album as a leader, Italuba Big Band Live, which is also available on DVD.
In this episode, El Negro talks about:
- Growing up in Havana, the son of the only jazz DJ in Cuba, and the grandson of a trumpet player
- Going to prison for playing rock music
- Spending two years in Rome before moving to New York
- The young Cuban musicians he recruited to play on his new big band record
- The overlaps between Afro-Cuban and big band music and history
- The longevity of Conversations in Clave, and his advice to Afro-Cuban beginners.
- Challenges and ideas he’s still chasing
Horacio endorses Pearl drums and percussion, Istanbul Mehmet cymbals, Promark sticks, Evans drumheads, Shure microphones, and Protection Racket cases.