Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Carlos Santana

                         Image of Santana from Santa Clara University

Introduced by a friend from California, Carlos Santana's music came into my awareness with his 1971 hit Black Magic Woman.

Carlos Santana was born in Mexico and grew up in Tijuana and San Francisco. Son of a professional violinist father, he began playing guitar at age eight.

With his band Santana, Carlos played at Woodstock, and they produced their first record the same year, an instant hit that soon went gold, and then platinum. He was twenty-two.

By 1971, the band had produced two more successful albums. A couple of years later, along with guitarist John McLauglin, he became devoted to a spiritual guru called Sri Chimnoy. A few years later when the guru proved to be too controlling, Santana left him, disillusioned.

Santana's band changed personnel as he pioneered the synthesis of Afro-Cuban music with American blues.  By the late nineties, he had sold 50 million records. In 1999, his songs received nine Grammy nominations and in 2013, the Rolling Stone listed him as Number 15 on David Fricke's Rolling Stone list of The Hundred Greatest Guitarists of all Time.

In 2002, Carlos Santana produced an album called Shaman. In 2009, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Billboard Latin Music, and in 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.

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