Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the three-time Grammy® winning Salsa and Latin Jazz band, sets the gold standard for excellence in authentic, New York style, hard core salsa.
Whether in a concert hall or at an outdoor jazz festival, there is no easing you in, they come at you full force, from start to finish. Their energy on stage and their rich sound and musical precision leave audiences mesmerized until the last note is played. With an unwavering respect for the music’s storied history, the ensemble’s thirteen world-class musicians and vocalists come together to create an unparalleled musical experience.
Now celebrating 20 years of excellence, SHO, as they are known to fans, is dedicated to the sounds of the barrio (Spanish Harlem, NYC). Their music is characterized by the raw, organic and vintage sound defined by the genre. They are on a mission to keep the musical legacy of salsa dura (hard salsa) alive and expand its audience to those who love great music, not just Latin music. Grounded in the past, while focused on the future, they strive to keep the music relevant, creating a unique and fresh approach.
With eight CD’s and five Grammy nominations, this powerhouse orchestra is aware that it is crucial to continually push themselves and raise the bar. Their 2018 release “Anniversary” won the 2019 Grammy® Award for “Best Tropical Album”. On their latest 2022 release, Imágenes Latinas, SHO stays true to their purpose with a fresh slate of new songs and arrangements dedicated to the memory of iconic New York salsa and Latin Jazz group, Conjunto Libre and its members Andy Gonzalez, Jerry Gonzalez, Barry Rogers, and leader Manny Oquendo.
Oscar Hernández has long been considered one of the most prominent pianists and arrangers in the Salsa & Latin Jazz scene. He is all about tradition. Born into a large Puerto Rican family living in the Bronx, it was the nearby Spanish Harlem neighborhood that shaped his cultural musical sensibilities. The soundtrack to this bustling enclave in the ‘60s, emanating from any given window on any given day, was a mix of Latin Jazz and American pop radio.
Hernandez started playing the trumpet at age twelve; he switched to piano shortly thereafter. By the time he finished his teen years, he was making a living as a professional musician and gigging with some of the most talented Latin Jazz artists of the ‘70s. He spent much of the ‘80s producing, arranging and playing piano for Panamanian vocalist Rubén Blades while simultaneously leading his own band, Seis del Solar. In the 90's Hernandez produced a recording titled "Dance City" which received a rave review in the NY Times and led Paul Simon to call him as arranger/producer & musical director for his Broadway show "The Capeman." Oscar also received acclaim as music arranger on Gloria Estefan’s hit 2015 Broadway musical “On Your Feet”.
Learn more about SHO at www.spanishharlemorchestra.com