About Horacio "El Negro" Hernández

Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, the most recorded drummer of Cuba, has been the driving force behind the premier Latin and Latin-fused music of the past three decades. Since arriving in the U.S. in 1993 his drumming has propelled the sounds of Grammy Award winners Michel Camilo, Carlos Santana, Alejandro Sanz, Chucho Valdes, Roy Hargrove and Gary Burton, as well as Paquito D’Rivera and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Hernandez is identified by his unique “Latin Fusion” style, melding the folkloric clave with the fierce punch, crisp snap, and deep grooves of today’s Jazz, Pop, and Rock. Hernandez first gained international recognition as drummer for the legendary pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and his band, Proyecto. Once in the United States, Hernandez — known internationally simply as “El Negro” — began contributing to a host of the era’s truly extraordinary performances, both live and in studio releases. Carlos Santana’s SUPERNATURAL; Alejandro Sanz’ NO ES LO MISMO; Jack Bruce’s SHADOWS IN THE AIR; Eddie Palmieri’s LISTEN HERE; Gary Buton’s FOR HAMP, RED, BAGS, AND CAL; Roy Hargrove’s Crisol HABANA, as well as Michel Camilo’s LIVE AT THE BLUE NOTE are a selection of recordings that bear the stamp of Horacio’s percussion artistry. Horacio’s impact extends beyond stage and studio. In 2013, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, celebrating it’s 12th Annual Jazz Appreciation Month, recognized Horacio’s signature innovative approach to percussion, and included his unique drum kit in the museum’s jazz collection. Horacio has served as a member of the faculties of Berklee College of Music, The New School and The Drummer’s Collective in New York. Horacio holds an honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. Then, his critically-acclaimed book and CD, CONVERSATIONS IN CLAVE: THE ULTIMATE TECHNICAL STUDY OF FOUR-WAY INDEPENDENCE IN AFRO-CUBAN RHYTHMS, has become an industry standard.


Photo Credit: John W. Fell