The alliance he forged between jazz, Cuban music and rock has not harmed drummer/percussionist Horacio "El Negro" Hernández one bit. He is the driving force behind the popular and influential Latin music of the past years, and he became a familiar name for artists ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to Carlos Santana. After leaving Cuba in 1993 he went to New York and made major contributions to records by Michel Camilo, Roy Hargrove, Chuco Valdes, Paquito D'Rivera, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Carlos Santana. With his unique Latin fusion style he combines the characteristic pulsating clave beats with the powerful, direct sound and strong grooves of present-day jazz, pop and rock. With his band Italuba, consisting of musicians from Italy and Cuba, he has already made two albums in which complex rhythms clearly play a central role.