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.
More than 22 months ago, the body of Odin Lloyd was found in an industrial park in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Lloyd had been shot seven times near a pile of construction waste. The semipro football player for the Boston Bandits was 27. Days after he was found dead, then-NFL star Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder. Testimony in the case against Hernandez began in January. On Wednesday, a Fall River, Massachusetts, jury – after deliberating 35 hours over the course of seven days – found the former New England patriots tight end guilty of first-degree murder, which carries a penalty of life without parole, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Hernandez also faces murder charges in a 2012 double homicide. He has pleaded not guilty. Just two years ago, he was one of the NFL's most promising tight ends, inking a $40-million contract extension with the New England Patriots. Friends and fans alike wondered: How could the star player who had more than 900 receiving yards in 2011 now be on trial for murder?