Early in 1997, Hernandez traveled to Orvieto, Italy to perform at the Umbria Jazz Festival and record with the band "Crisoul". Led by trumpeter Roy Hargrove, this all-star lineup combined the energies of Hargrove, Hernandez, Gary Bartz, Frank Lacey, David Sanchez, Changuito, Jon Benitez, Anga Diaz, Russell Malone and Chucho Valdes. Their debut record entitled "Habana" earned "Crisoul" a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Record in the"“Latin Jazz" category.
During the same period Hernandez recorded the Michel Camilo's release "Thru My Eyes" with Jon Patitucci and Anthony Jackson. On this record, El Negro's true essence is captured on the track "A Night in Tunisia." Also during this time, Hernandez appeared with McCoy Tyner and his band in San Francisco and recorded and toured with Santana for their 1997 world tour.
In 1998, Hernandez set his sights on performing with Latin Crossing, a stellar gathering of artists that featured Steve Winwood, Arturo Sandoval, and Tito Puente. Latin Crossing toured all of the major jazz festivals throughout Europe that summer.
Hernandez then went on tour with the John Patitucci Band. In 1998 and 1999, Hernandez found himself recording with an eclectic group of artists including: Santana, Gabriella Anders, John Patitucci, Sergio George, Juan Carlos Formell, Joanne Brackeen, Giovanni Hidalgo, and others.
Horacio is a member of the faculties of Drummer's Collective and the New School in New York, and regularly conducts clinics and workshops at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, as well as for Pearl drums and Ziidjian cymbals.
He has been a participant in several NAMM shows, and was a featured drummer at the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention in 1996. Early in 1998, Hernandez was voted first runner-up as the 1997 "Drummer of the Year" in Drum magazin'’s annual readers poll.