50 Years of Iconic Latin Music with Oscar Hernández

Over the course of a nearly fifty year music career, Oscar Hernández has played with some of the most iconic and well-known artists in the New York City Latin music scene. As he said, “New York was in the middle of the Latino cultural revolution and music was a huge part of that— the music of Machito, Tito Rodríguez, Tito Puente, Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, on and on, so many artists that were part of that era influenced the rest of the world with regard to Latin music.” And Hernández played with them all. At his online MusicLab workshop on October 8, participants will hear first-hand Hernández’s inspiring story and learn about the legendary sounds that created salsa music. 

Oscar Hernández came of age during the meteoric rise of Fania Records, the New York City-based label that was to Latin music what Blue Note Records was to jazz and Motown Records was to R&B. As Hernández says, “Fania was the king of Latin music in New York City,” and he recorded and performed with the legends that make up its astounding catalog. Hernández will share recordings that marked the signature sounds of these different artists and created the salsa-sound that New York City was known for.

His workshop will also include the last 18 years of his career as the founder and band-leader of the GRAMMY Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra, which continues to uphold and evolve salsa music. As Hernández says, “The Spanish Harlem Orchestra is one of the best bands and exponents of what hardcore New York-style salsa is!” His first-hand story reveals not only a musical history of Latin music in New York City, but how his passion, hard-work, and dedication to his craft propelled his career earning him four GRAMMY Awards, two Broadway musical directorships, and international acclaim. His workshop will include MP3 recordings, videos, and scores.

MusicLab Workshop Series with Oscar Hernández: 50 Years of Iconic Latin Music
Thursday, October 8, 5:30–7:00pm
$15 General; $10 Community Music Center students & faculty / seniors
Online via Zoom

Special thanks to our partners: Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble and MisterLatinJazz!
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Oscar Hernández & Friends Latin Jazz Video uniting NY & LA with some of the great musicians from both coasts.
Featuring: Oscar Hernández-Piano, Bobby Franceschini-Sax, Jonathan Powell-Trpt. Jimmy Branly-Drums, Oskar Cartaya-Bass Luisito Quintero -Timbales, & Roberto Quintero-Congas