Oscar Hernandez Quintet
Oscar Hernández is a Puerto Rican musician, musical arranger best known for his work with seminal salsa artists like Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Daniel Ponce, Rafael Dejesus, Eddie Torres and Phil Hernandez.
He has long been considered one of the most gifted and prominent pianist/ arrangers on the contemporary latin,latin-jazz and salsa music scene.
Since its inception in the early 1980′s, Oscar has been responsible for charting the musical course of the Rubén Blades Band.
Increasingly in demand as a pianist, arranger and producer, the Bronx native has produced such artists as Ruben Blades/Willie Colón “Carabali”, Daniel Ponce, Rafael Dejesus, Eddie Torres, Phil Hernandez, Steve Kroon,etc. and has made a more personal statement with the debut CD’s “Decision” and “Alternate Roots” by his band Seis Del Solar the Rubén Blades Band sans Rubén, and now with his Grammy Award nominated band ”The Spanish Harlem Orchestra.”
In addition to being Rubén Blades pianist, arranger and musical director, Oscar Hernández has enjoyed a prolific musical career recording and performing with such world renown artists as Latin music king Tito Puente, Queen of Salsa Music Celia Cruz, Latin Pop Star Julio Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Ray Barreto, Earl Klugh, Dave Valentin, Johnny Pacheco, Ismael Miranda, Pete”Conde” Rodríquez, Oscar De’leon, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, “Libre’ “Grupo Folkorico Experimental”, Willie Colón, and Kirsty MacColl.
More recently, Oscar’s musical exploits include working as Musical Director/Conductor, arranging and producing the music for “The Capeman,” pop-rock icon Paul Simon’s Broadway musical.
In addition, Oscar was also the music producer of “The Capeman” cast recording. Oscar was Musical Director/Arranger for the hit shows “Quien Mato A Hector Lavoe” and “La Lupe” at the 47th Street Theatre.
He was also, Music Supervisor/Arranger for the show “Four Guys named Jose & Una Mujer named Maria” . He also worked on the Broadway stage version of “Mambo Kings”
Oscar’s work as a studio session player can also be heard on numerous commercial jingles, some of which he has written and arranged.
Among those are The hit show “Sex and the City”,Dunkin Donuts, Waldbaums, General Motors and Cover Girl.
In addition to having firmly established his reputation as an excellent musician and producer/arranger, Oscar has composed music for film having scored the music for the film documentaries, “If The Mango Tree Could Speak” by Pat Goudvis &”Angela Tiene Un Bebé” by Paula Heredia, and “Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories” by Pam Sporn.
Currently, Oscar Hernandez is the leader of the world renown “Spanish Harlem Orchestra”. With their three CD’s to date, Oscar and SHO as they are commonly known, were nominated for a Grammy on their first CD “Un Gran Dia En El Barrio”, won the Grammy for their second CD release, ”Across 110th Street” and nominated for their third CD “United We Swing”.
Oscar was the music producer as well as pianist/arranger on all CDs. Since the band’s inception in the year 2001, SHO have garnered numerous awards and world acclaim as one of the finest exponents of Salsa and Latin/Jazz music. Spanish Harlem Orchestra is generally considered one of the best Salsa orchestra today and one of the finest music ensembles in the world.
In addition to leading New York’s Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Oscar also leads an All Star Salsa Orchestra in Los Angeles and performs with his Latin Jazz Quintet.
As a musical director/arranger, Hernandez is in demand by many of today’s top Latino artists.
Justo Almario is an Afro-Colombian jazz saxophonist born in Sincelejo, Colombia and currently based in Los Angeles, California.
Almario originally began work at age 14 performing on Colombian television.
His father was also a professional musician and exposed Almario to everything from calypso to classical.
Almario is one of the world’s most acclaimed jazz musicians and has played with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder as well his church’s worship band.
A woodwind virtuoso, Almario worked with pioneering Latin/jazz group Mongo Santamaria and Charles Mingus before recording and touring with Roy Ayers, the Commodores, Linda Ronstadt, and Freddie Hubbard.
From 1980 to 1981 he performed with Freddie Hubbard’s band. During the Eighties he was also a member of the Christian jazz-fusion band Koinonia (band).
He has also worked with many other musicians, like Cal Tjader, Tito Puente, Jennifer López and Tania Maria, among many others.