[Podcast 3] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader

Oscar Hernandez and son

Oscar Hernandez and his son. Photo courtesy of Oscar Hernandez.

In this third podcast episode Oscar Hernandez discusses change which challenges every small business owner particularly in the music industry. 

 

Editor's note: Carlos Garcia interviewed Oscar Hernandez for podcast part three of this three part podcast series. Find podcast 3 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 the first two parts and want to start there, here is the first part link: [Podcast 1] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader. Part two: [Podcast 2] Oscar Hernandez, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Grammy Winning Bandleader  

Oscar Hernadez with Marc Anthony

Oscar Hernandez with Marc Anthony

I had a chance to ask Oscar how, if in trying to be nice and friendly, has he been taken advantage of at various points in his career.  And of course, he has, but he was also clear about not putting up with it over time – one and done. He reiterates how important it is to know what you want from people.

Oscar Hernandez at the Grammy's

Oscar Hernandez at the Grammys!

We also discuss the issue of work-life balance.  This is tough for an artist who travels the world as much as Oscar does.  But he seems to be able to prioritize appropriately – picking up his young daughter from school is as important as anything he does in the music world.  In fact, he says that he draws inspiration for his music from his life, so to him the two parts of his life feed off one another.

Oscar Hernandez with Reuben BladesOscar Hernandez and Bernie Williams

Left: Oscar Hernandez with Ruben Blades Right: Oscar Hernandez with Bernie Williams

Oscar also talked about his work with various Latino-focused non-profits including the “Harmony Project” in Los Angeles tasked with bringing music to the lives of 10-17 year olds.  He has also worked with “Siembra” (which means planting seeds).  This group was started to help improve Latino high school dropout statistics but has been expanded to include other at-risk young people. 

Change is an issue that every businessperson faces in any line of business but seems particularly painful in the music field.  Yes, change is the constant in the universe, but keeping up is tough enough as styles change but it is much harder now that the economic models of the music business are in such flux.  So Oscar acknowledges the challenge and discusses how he addresses the reality.

We also talked about Oscar’s love of all Latino countries, from Mexico to Panama and around the other Spanish speaking countries as well – it helps that he is recognized wherever he goes in Latin America and is seen as a big star.  

He worked with Ruben Blades for many years and has a great story that came from Ruben about just how much fun it is to be Latino.  Oscar waxes poetic for a bit going on about how lucky he feels to be a Latino and what he most prizes about his culture.  His key focus, which is not surprising given the nature and intensity of his music, is Latino passion.  

 

Oscar Hernandez and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra performing "La Salsa Dura"

His final point for Latin Business Today readers comes down to one word – Perseverance.  Every young person (and every newly minted entrepreneur) will face self-doubts.  These can cripple you, but they should inspire you, particularly if you consider that every success story out there was achieved by a person who had self-doubts at some point. 

We complete the interview with a thought about intensity – BE INTENSE WITHOUT BEING TENSE – and don’t forget to have a good time.

Here are the links to part one and two:

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

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

Please find podcast 3 below.  

Related articles:

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

[Podcast 2] 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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