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.
Violinist Christian Howes is a technically proficient, forward-thinking musician with a bent toward progressive jazz, bluegrass, and classical music. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Howes began playing classical violin at age five and by his teens was competing in various national classical competitions as well as pursuing a burgeoning interest in jazz improvisation. At age 19, however, Howes was convicted on a drug charge and sentenced to four years in a medium security prison.