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Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez

Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez

When drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez was 14 years old he went to jail for playing “revolutionary” music in Cuba. “I was playing in the most popular rock ‘n’ roll band in Cuba,” he explains from the safety of a public radio studio in New York. “It was a little kids’ thing, but it was really happening. We’d have parties with 3,000 or 4,000 kids dancing. We were playing at a place on the beach one night when all of sudden the Special Forces came with huge lights and machine guns. They made everyone get on the floor and arrested us for being subversive, against the government.”

Before being released to his parents Hernandez spent three weeks in a Havana maximum-security prison used to house those that challenged the government. He remembers that when the authorities came his band was playing “White Room,” Cream’s classic rock staple written by Jack Bruce.

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