[Podcast 2] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader

Oscar Hernandez at the piano

Oscar Hernandez at the piano. Photos courtesy of Oscar Hernandez

In this second episode Oscar Hernandez talks about the facts of life in the music industry business.

 

Editor's note: Carlos Garcia interviewed Oscar Hernandez for podcast part two of this three part podcast series. Find podcast 2 below. We wish to thank Tomas Algarin a respected latin music historian, educator, writer, radio producer, stage performer/concert Emcee and also a steadfast Latin Business Today collaborator who helped facilitate this spotlight on Oscar Hernanez. Enjoy! 

For those who missed Part 1 and want to start there, here is the link: [Podcast 1] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader

In this part of the conversation with Oscar Hernandez, we talk about the facts of life in the music business – many people have lots of talent, but many don’t ever figure out how to manage their talent, their careers or their lives.  Oscar has seen many wonderfully talented people fall apart, and he talks about what kept him together.  

Oscar Hernandes and Paul Simon

Oscar Hernandez and Paul Simon

Oscar really does see his orchestra as a business – he tries to be fair, to be plain spoken and clear about what he wants and doesn’t want.  But he has learned some painful lessons along the way but the key word there is learn.  He believes it is important to stay positive even as conflicts mount.

Oscar Hernandez and Herbie Hancock

Oscar Hernandez and Herbie Hancock

He speaks about having to be a manager, having to interact with many different types of people doing many different types of work – from lighting to sound, from musicians to agents, from promoters to publicists.  As well as dealing with accounting and legal issues – he has learned how to manage the money side as well as the contractual side of things, so there are some lawyerly skills needed as well.

Oscar Hernandez with Chick Corea

Oscar Hernandez with Chick Corea

Oscar admits that he is a musician first, so developing business skills took a lot of effort, and he knows there are still some things he isn’t good at.  For example, he prefers that his agent negotiate the deals.  The idea of delegating things you aren’t super-good at is a good one.

Oscar Hernandez and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra

One tricky element is the culture among musicians – he considers the members of his orchestra as friends rather than simply employees or colleagues.  I imagine this promotes the trust and camaraderie needed for the music these guys play which is an intriguing blend of precision and spontaneity.

Part 1 : [Podcast 1] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader  

Please find podcast 2 below.  Part 3 to follow.

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[Podcast 1] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader

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About the author

Carlos E. Garcia

Carlos E. Garcia, a Latin Business Today, Partner: Research, Trends, Insights was born to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in East Los Angeles and attended Pomona College, UC Berkeley and National University (BA, MA and MBA respectively).  He has over thirty years of experience in the field of US Hispanic consumer research, twenty one years at the helm of his own company, Garcia Research.  Most recently  SVP at GfK: Knowledge Networks, where he headed up their Hispanic research efforts. He's gone full circle and now back at the helm of Garcia Research, a Hispanic market and Multicultural-focused research firm.

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