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Santana

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Santana

CARLOS SANTANA: Personal Information Adopted spiritual name Devadip during 1970s; born July 20, 1947, in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico; son of Jose (a musician) and Josephina Santana; married; wife's name Urmila (a religious professional with Sri Chinmoy). Career Founder of and guitarist in band Santana, 1966-; recording artist with Columbia Records, 1968-; appeared at Woodstock music festival, 1969, live performance featured in documentary film "Woodstock," 1970. Has performed and recorded with numerous musicians, including Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, John McLaughlin, Jose Feliciano, Buddy Miles, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Alice Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Wayne Shorter, and Olatunjl. Awards: Recipient of Gold Medal Award, 1977. Addresses Manager--Bill Graham Productions, P.O. Box 1994, San Francisco CA 94101. "Carlos Santana's own spiritual commitment, his natural love of the festival and of dance have made for a fabulous melting pot of a rock band, not the greatest rock band in the world but the greatest world band in rock," John Piccarella wrote in 1979 in a Village Voice column entitled "Santana's Indegenous Internationalism." In the ten years that followed, rock music was redefined almost monthly, but the world music of Carlos Santana and his ensembles has remained popular around the world. Santana was born in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico, on July 20, 1947. His father, a mariachi violinist, taught him the violin and guitar. After the family moved to Tijuana, he began to learn and copy American blues from recordings of B.B. King and Chuck Berry, later adding T-Bone Walker and Saunders King to his list of influences. Santana moved to San Francisco, where his parents had relocated, and discovered jazz. According to Mark Rowland in the liner notes for the album Viva Santana!, Santana also discovered "the salsa giants like Tito Puente, Ray Baretto and Eddie Palmieri." Santana explained to Rowland that salsa was "a serious music, proud. A positive side, a dignifying side of Africa through Cuba and Puerto Rico." The band Santana was formed in 1966 around the talents of bass guitarist David Brown and keyboard player Gregg Rolie. The band's improvisational sessions rooted in Latin American rhythms quickly became popular with jazz enthusiasts who recognized its creativity in combining salsa and blues riffs. The music of Santana also had a large audience among the Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, and Latin American communities in the United States, as well as among those who enjoyed dancing to the band's rhythmic beat. Santana made its breakthrough to the mainstream audience at the Woodstock festival, via San Francisco's Fillmore Theatre and its manager Bill Graham. Although they were still unrecorded, they were included in a festival line-up that featured Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Joan Baez. Their set, ending with "Soul Sacrifice," was documented in the film "Woodstock" (1970), which reached an audience that did not listen to jazz or Latin stations. Santana, now made up of Carlos Santana on guitar, Rolie, Brown, percussionist Michael Carabello (on drums, congo drums and tambourine) and timbalist/percusionist Chepito Areas, had a string of gold and platinum albums for Columbia--Santana, Abraxas, and Santana III--testifying to their crossover success. The first single, "Jingo," was given frequent playings on FM and Spanish-language AM stations on either coast. Two hit singles, "Evil Ways" and Peter Green's "Black Magic Woman" were popular on dance lists across the country. Later gold albums included Caravanserai(1972) and Welcome(1972). Among the other instrumentalists who have appeared with Santana are congoist Armando Peraza, Ndugu Chancler, and jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Carlos Santana has also performed as a jazz musician. The spiritual conversion of Carlos Santana to Sri Chinmoy affected his music and the group's. As Devadip ?Eye of God? Santana, he performed and recorded with fellow believers John Coltrane, Turiya Alice Coltrane, and Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. Frank Rose, reviewing a collaborative concert of Santana, Contrane, and McLaughlin in 1974 for the Village Voice, described Santana as "flourishing in the double shadow of Coltrane's genius and McLaughlin's spiritualism," partially because, as Rose wrote, "Santana's piecing quitar slashed through it like a lightning bolt." The fusion period of the early and mid-1970s brought such experimental albums as Love, Devotion, Surrender(1973) in collaboration with McLaughlin. Most of Santana's interviews in this period concentrated on his conversion and on the changes that it had brought to his band's collaborative functioning. It also brought Santana back to Woodstock, this time for an outdoor concert dedicated to Sri Chinmoy's music. Latin-based rock returned as Santana's principal genre with the album Amigos(1976) and Zebop(1982). His personal fusion of rock and salsa was not always appreciated by the audience, according to John Storm Roberts of the Village Voice. "Despite everything, Carlos Santana's musical achievement seems to me underrated," he wrote in a review of a May 1976 concert. "His music is an uncommonly equal yoke of salsa and rock and his musicians can sear steak. The strength of this fusion is fully grasped neither by his rock audience, which certainly doesn't understand the richness of his Afro-Latin references, nor by older Latins, who often talk as through he was trying to play salsa, and not quite making it." By 1979, Santana had split his musical identity into his work with the band, which still played fusion Latin-rock and his solo albums, which were more overtly religious. In John Rockwell's New York Times column, "The Pop Life," in March 1979, he described the difference between Santana's two new releases. Inner Secrets?the band album? is a typically appealing Santana grab bag with a couple of overt extensions into disco that don't represent any real alteration at all. The songs are more concise and pop oriented than ever, yet Mr. Santana's strong, lyrical guitar solos and the percussion build a bridge to his past. ... Now, Santana is more willing to confine his overt religiousity to such projects as Oneness?the solo album? and to let his spiritual mesage be more indirectly conveyed at Santana concerts." Santana credited Bill Graham with his return to his musical roots, according to an interview Graham gave Robert Jasinski in the New York Daily News in 1982. "I told Devadip Santana that people wanted to hear the street sound that made them dance and sweat and that they associated with the band,"said Graham. Santana has also conveyed his message of spiritual awareness at a variety of political and socially conscious benefits. The band was one of only four acts to appear at both Woodstock and LiveAid. They can be seen and heard on Musicourt the United Cerebral Palsy benefit jam sessions recorded on video in 1981. Santana joined with Run-D.M.C at a Crack-Down concert (for Artists for Crack Education) in November 1986 that featured a collaboration among its members, West African percussionist Babtunde Olatunji, and second-generation salsa-fusionist Reuben Blades. Santana's annual summertime concert in New York City, held either at Forest Hills Stadium, Pier 84, or at an outdoor location, gives the band an opportunity to collaborate with other fusion groups. In 1987, for example, they performed with the New Orleans-based Neville Brothers, with results that Dan Aquilante of the New York Post described as "spellbinding." "If the Santana repertory was a pack of 52, then each time he snapped a song off the top of the deck it was an ace." A reunion concert in 1988 brought Santana together with Rolie and Michael Shrieve for "a tough jamming band that favored long improvisations," as Peter Watrous described it in a New York Times review. "The loose song forms give Mr. Santana room to toss out some of the musical ideas on his mind; throughout the night, acting like a jazz musician, he quoted from other songs. ... But more than anything, it is an instrumental band and it was over a steaming, raunchy blues boogie that both Mr. Santana and Mr. Rolie ... found their highest moments." Viva Santana! is both a re-issuing of old material and a reunion of early collaborators. Although the band's family tree is so complex that it is printed over two double-page spreads, it is apparent from the sounds on the double album that Santana's fusion still holds and is capable of continuous evolution. Santana has often been described as "America's premiere rock and roll ambassador to the world" because it accepts the musical heritage of the entire world as valid and worthy of experimentation within its improvisatory borders. Selected Discography With group Santana; released by Columbia: Santana,1968. Abraxas,1970. Santana III,1972. Caravanserai,1972. Welcome,1973. Greatest Hits,1974. Borboletta,1974. Lotus,1975. Amigos,1976. Festival,1977. Moonflower,1977. Inner Secrets,1979. Marathon,1979. Swing of Delight,1980. Zebop,1981. Shango,1982. Havana Moon,1983. Beyond Appearances,1985. Freedom,1987. Viva Santana!(compilation), 1989. Solo albums: Devadip Carlos--Oneness: Silver Dreams, Golden Reality, Columbia, 1979. Blues For Salvador, Columbia, 1987. With others: With Buddy Miles, Columbia, 1971. (With John McLaughlin) Love Devotion Surrender, Columbia, 1973. (With Alice Coltrane) Illuminations, Columbia, 1974. Has appeared as guest artist on numerous albums, including on Gato Barbieri's Tropico,1978; Mike Bloomfield's Live Adventures,1969; Papa John Creach's Papa John Creach,1971; Bob Dylan's Real Live,1984; Herbie Hancock's Monster,1980; and Boz Scaggs's Middleman,1980. Sources New York Daily News, August 6, 1982. New York Post, July 20, 1987. New York Times, May 9, 1976; March 9, 1979; November 2, 1986; September 17, 1988. Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972; May 6, 1976. Village Voice, March 14, 1974; May 17, 1976; March 26, 1979. NEAL SCHON: Personal Information Neal Schon is one of San Francisco's better-known electric lead guitarists. His style ranges from melodic mainstream rock to jazz/rock fusion. Aside from some solo work, Schon's credits have included work with Santana, Jan Hammer, and (most notably) Journey.


 

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