All the world knows the special magic of Carlos Santana. Since 1966, he has led the group that bears his name, selling over 30 million albums and performing before an estimated 13 million people. In every performance, Carlos shares with his audience a personal communication that crosses all boundaries and differences.
Carlos was introduced to traditional music by his father, Jose. An accomplished mariachi violinist and experienced musician, he taught Carlos the basics of music theory and gave him an understanding of the value of a note. Although Carlos’ excitement for music would be sparked by his first experience, he quickly discovered the limits of its traditional form and wanted more. Carlos wanted to play the kind of music that was filling the radio waves and making people dance.
Tijuana, 1955 the drastic change of moving from the small, quiet town of Autlan to the humming, thriving boom town of Tijuana brought a renewed hope and opportunity for a new life. Both for Carlos and his family. The eight-year old Carlos quickly left the violin for the guitar, studying and emulating the sounds of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. Soon he was being asked to join local bands like the T.J.’s, where he added a unique touch and feel to his own renditions of all the great songs of the 1950’s. As he continued to play with different bands along the busy Tijuana Strip, he not
only started to perfect his style and sound, but actually started bringing home enough money to really help his family. His future looked promising.
In 1960, Carlos’ family moved to San Francisco while Carlos stayed in Tijuana for another year to make extra money until his family was settled. However, he soon found himself amid the multicultural atmosphere of San Francisco, with all of its diverse musical styles. It was here that Carlos would find what he had been searching for, as if destiny had brought him to the right place at the right time. For the next five years, Carlos continued to evolve his own unique style of music that would later identify him as one of the most distinctive, innovative musicians of our time.
In 1966, the music of Carlos Santana exploded on the streets of San Francisco with the debut performance of the Santana Blues Band. For the next two years, the Santana Blues Band was overwelmed by a wave of popularity that would take them from San Francisco’s Fillmore West, to that historical performance in 1969 before 500,000 at the Woodstock Festival in New York. Carlos Santana had arrived, and with him, a new spirit and dedication to his music. Always changing, always searching, always growing–yet always consistently and clearly Carlos. Every new album–including 14 gold and 9 platinum albums–becoming a reflection of Carlos’ own personal growth and evolution.
1997 brought Carlos back go his musical recording roots when he signed a recording contract with ARISTA, whose CEO Clive Davis signed the first Santana Band lineup to Columbia in 1968. This exciting and creative venture will culminate in the release of
music of a phenomenal quality and promises that fans and listeners will be able to experience and enjoy the melodic guitar playing of Carlos Santana for years to come.