Horacio Hernandez, affectionally known as “El Negro” is one in-demand drummer! He has graced the efforts of Carlos Santana, and Afro Cuban sessions of Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Michel Camilo. He may be Cuba’s most famous exported present-day drummer. He had defected from Cuba to Italy, and now makes his home in the melting pot of New York City. His debut as a leader, Italuba, was nominated for a Grammy. Now he is back with Italuba II, a melange of rock, jazz, and Afro Cuban rhythms. It’s a winning mix as evidenced on the trumpet driven anthemic Te Prima; the lyrical straight ahead jazz of Afternoon at the Boulevard; and the fusion Metheny-like, Mr. Also highly enjoyable is the Caribbean feel of Meridien, dedicated to Paquito D’Rivera.