The Smithsonian Recognizes Horacio Hernandez
Grammy award-winning drummer, and longstanding Pearl artist, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez permanently cemented his place in history earlier this month, as he donated his iconic late-90’s era Pearl MRX Masters Custom drum set to The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, in celebration of the museum’s 12th Annual Jazz Appreciation Month! In a ceremony that took place on the morning of April 9th, the invite-only guests of the museum witnessed the generous and historic signing-over of El Negro’s Masters Custom drums, alongside the donation and recognition of Randy Weston- the 87-year-old visionary pianist who officially donated the long flowing garment he worn while being honored by the King of Morocco in 2011. In regards to this monumental occasion, Horacio states, "My drums are going to be in a place and in the company of artifacts and memories of people that I always dreamed to be with since the day I was born."
Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, has become a household name in the drumming community who is best known for his masterful translations of Afro-Latin onto the drum set, and for being a driving force in the merger between jazz, rock, and Latin/Cuban genres. El Negro’s resume alone boats of his remarkable talents, including names like Carlos Santana, John Petitucci Quartet, Tito Puente and the Afro-Cuban All Stars, just to name a few. The Masters Custom (MRX) drum set that El Negro donated to The Smithsonian National Museum of American History was used during Santana’s 1997 World Tour, as well as during his time with Crisoul- an all star Latin jazz group that won a Grammy Award for the studio release, Habana, in the Latin Jazz Category. The specs on El Negro’s Masters Custom kit are as follow:
MRX Masters Custom
Purple Mist finish
with Gold Hardware
22x18 bass drum
Before signing over this beautiful and historic drum set, Horacio was given the opportunity to lay down one final grove, gracefully displaying his Latin jazz chops around the 4-ply maple toms before it was set on its permanent drum riser at the museum. The video of Horacio’s final hits, along with a clip of vibraphonist Chuck Redd, can be found below.
For more information on Pearl artist, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, please be sure to visit his official website, www.ElNegro.com. More information on the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian can be found at www.AmericanHistory.si.edu.