Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Feature: Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez

This video was my first introduction to Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez. You'll want to watch the whole thing.....multiple times.

The very first time I saw this I had no idea who any of these musicians were. I was completely floored (still am!) by their virtuosity, musicianship and flat out heart. I had to know more. I started looking for everything I could find related to any of these three, and became fascinated with their musical careers and backgrounds.

Luckily for me, Michel Camilo visits Salt Lake City on a fairly frequent basis, so I've had the opportunity to hear and see him several times, once with Anthony Jackson and Horacio Hernandez. We also have one of the best drum shops in the world, and they brought in Horacio to do a live clinic several years ago. 

At the clinic, he came out on stage and, without a word, began playing. His opening solo/performance was over 45 minutes long. And nobody got bored. Nobody even breathed! His playing was (and still is) so exciting, engaging, unique and - above all - musical, that I think the whole room was disappointed when he got done playing.

Hernandez is a great example to me of how one pursues a goal - at all costs! He gave up his home country for a chance to make music at the highest levels and become the best version of himself. He has also given countless hours to practice, study, listening and experimenting to become one of - if not the - leaders in the afro-cuban drumming world.

Hopefully you'll take the time to do some studying and listening, and let "El Negro" influence your musical world. 

Happy drumming!

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