José María De León Hernández, known professionally as Little Joe is an American tejano performer who grew up in Temple, Texas and lives in San Antonio. He is of Mexican descent. Hernández told the Stockton Record in 2015 that he was born "in a three-wall, dirt-floor garage ... on a cold stormy night," the seventh of 13 children. His father, Salvador, was known as "La Cotorra" and was a troubadour. His mother, Amelia DeLeon, was a trained pianist. "My dad and aunts all played instruments and sang," he told the Riverside Press Enterprise. We'd go to parties that would last until three in the morning.
Hernández got his start at 13 when his cousin, David Coronado, recruited him to play guitar for his Latinaires. The Latinaires eventually became known as Little Joe and the Latinaires. Today he is usually joined by his band La Familia. In 1992, their album 16 de Septiembre earned the Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance. In 2008, Little Joe once again won a Grammy for Best Tejano Album of the year for Before the Next Teardrop Falls. Other Grammy nominated albums include Timeless, 1993's Que Paso, Little Joe y La Familia 2000, and Celebration of Life Vol.1 & Vol.2.