Little Joe Y La Familia has been one of the most popular Tejano bands in the music industry. Little Joe Hernandez has been entertaining more than 50 years and has been described as the “King of the Brown Sound”. He has also helped pioneer the genre of “Tex-Mex” music, a mix of traditional “norteno” music with country, blues, and rock styles.
Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez “Little Joe” was born to Salvador “La Cotorra” Hernandez and Amelia DeLeon Hernandez in a three-wall dirt floor car garage in Temple, Texas on a cold stormy night on October 17, 1940. He was the 7th child of 13. In 1955, Joe played his first musical performance in Cameron, Texas for $5.00 at a high school Sock Hop. He was so excited, he realized that picking guitars beat cotton picking and he could actually get paid for it.
In 1959, Jesse, Joe’s young brother who was a bassist, singer and songwriter joined Joe naming the band Little Joe & The Latinaires. Sadly, in 1964, Jesse was killed in an automobile accident and Joe vowed at Jesse’s gravesite to carry on his music; not realizing how far his music would take him, or how it would open doors for other artists, or how he would create new trends.
Joe signed with several independent record companies based in Texas in the 1960s. Soon after, Joe formed his own independent labels and signed distribution deals that kept him busy throughout the ’70s and ’80s. After playing and spending much time in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe discovered “Latinismo” – a new and strong Latin music world that did not exist in Texas at the time. The new Latin music styles had a profound effect on Joe’s music and cultural values which prompted him to change the name of his band from The Latinaires to “La Familia”.
A two-time Grammy nominee, and recipient of the Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance category, Joe realized that part of his vow to his late brother Jesse was fulfilled.
In the 1980’s, Joe signed to his first major record deal and then once again formed his own independent label that produced an album which was picked up by CBS which later became Sony Discos International. Upon going independent again, Joe received his 3rd Grammy nomination for his 1st recording “Que Paso” under his own record label, Tejano Discos International.
Recently, Joe signed with Capitol EMI. His 1st recording became a Grammy Nominated album entitled Little Joe 2000. Aside from his music career, Joe has worked in the film industry starring in two feature films: Proposition187 – A deadly Law, and Down for the Barrio. Over the years, Joe has performed with Tierra and other California groups such as Malo, Los Lobos, and Carlos Santana.
Fifty Years and over fifty albums later, Joe is touring the world, still trailblazing, and still looking forward to new challenges. Breaking down cultural and musical barriers, Joe strives to bring many people together to make a more peaceful and harmonious world.
Talented and professional, Little Joe Y La Familia will warm up your venue with great Tex-Mex rock, traditional Mexican music, Norteño, Chicano, Conjunto, horn-driven Tejano, and Latin style music. Their sound – joyful and even sometimes melancholy – always tells a story and gets the audience dancing and swaying. This band is perfect for music festivals, casino entertainment, special events, parties, clubs, and concert halls.