"El Negro" is one of a new generation of players following in the footsteps of countrymen Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Ignacio Berroa, and others. His drumming reflects a musical heritage rooted in folklore tradition.
"El Negro" first gained international recognition as the drummer for the pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and his group Proyecto. Since leaving Cuba in 1990, Hernandez has played in the U.S. with many different pop, rock, jazz and Latin jazz acts, including on many albums, some of which have received Grammy awards, including Roy Hargrove's Havana (1997), Carlos Santana's Supernatural (1999), Alejandro Sanz' No es lo mismo (2003) and Eddie Palmieri's Listen Here (2005). Hernandez owns a Grammy award for the 2001 Latin Jazz album Live at the Blue Note, with Michel Camilo (piano) and Charles Flores (bass). Since 2004 Hernandez has recorded and toured with his own band, Italuba.
In July 2010, Hernandez was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. He was presented with the award at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy by Berklee's former Vice President of Academic Affairs, Larry Monroe.
In 2011 Hernandez recorded the album Proposicion, with a band including Dany Noel Martinez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ivan Lewis, Dario Chiazzolino, Ivan Bridon and Amik Guerra. In the same year he played at the Modern Drummer Festival with his new band The New World Order; the concert was released on the Modern Drummer Festival 2011 DVD.
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With Joanne Brackeen
- Pink Elephant Magic (Arkadia Jazz, 1998)
With Kazumi Watanabe
- Mo' Bop II (East Works Entertainment, 2004)