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Carlos Santana
Santana 2010.jpg
Santana in Indianapolis, 2010
Background information
Born July 20, 1947 (1947-07-20) (age 74)
Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Genres Latin rock, chicano rock, rock, blues rock, jazz rock, tejano, free jazz, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, bandleader
Instruments Guitar, percussion, vocals
Years active 1966–present
Labels RCA, Arista, Polydor, Columbia, Polygram, CBS
Associated acts Santana, Los Lonely Boys, John McLaughlin, Maná

Carlos Augusto Alves Santana (born 20 July 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico) is an American Grammy Award-winning musician and Latin-rock guitarist.

He became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, the Santana Blues Band, which created a highly successful blend of salsa, rock, blues, and jazz fusion. Their sound featured his often high-pitched and clean guitar lines set against Latin instrumentation such as timbales and congas. Santana continued to work in these forms over the following decades, and experienced a sudden resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. Over his career he has sold an estimated 80 million albums worldwide.

Early life and career

Santana was born to Jose Santana and Josefina Barragan in 1947, and has two brothers – Antonio and Jorge – and four sisters – Laura, Irma, Leticia, and Maria. Carlos' father played the violin,and was a part of a mariachi troupe. Young Carlos continued the family's musical heritage, originally learning the violin before switching to the guitar when he was eight years old. After a family move to Tijuana, Santana began playing in clubs and bars; he remained in Tijuana when his family moved to San Francisco, California, but joined them at the age of thirteen.

At the end of 1966, Tom Frazier (guitar) wanted to form a new rock band. Frazier joined Carlos Santana (guitar/vocals), Mike Carabello (percussion), Rod Harper (drums), Gus Rodriguez (bass guitar), and Seattle native Gregg Rolie (organ/vocals), to form the Santana Blues Band. After a while the name was shortened to just Santana. Promoter Bill Graham saw them and the band debuted in June 1968 at the legendary Fillmore (later Fillmore West), where many of the great San Francisco bands began. Santana's recording debut occurred on The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield.

He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.

Santana met Deborah King, whom he later married in 1973. She is the daughter of late blues singer and guitarist Saunders King. They have three children: Salvador, Stella and Angelica. Together with wife Deborah, Santana founded a not-for-profit organization, the Milagro ("Miracle") Foundation, which provides financial aid for educational, medical, and other needs.



(by the band Santana unless otherwise stated)
  • Santana Live at the Fillmore (released 1997)
  • Santana (1969)US: 2x Platinum
  • Abraxas (1970) US: 5x Platinum
  • 3 (1971) US: 2x Platinum
  • Caravanserai (1972) US: Platinum
  • Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live! (1972; C.S. with Buddy Miles) US: Platinum
  • Love Devotion Surrender (1973; C.S. with John McLaughlin) US: Gold
  • Welcome (1973) US: Gold
  • Illuminations (1974; C.S. with Alice Coltrane)
  • Borboletta (1974) US: Gold
  • Lotus (live) (1975)
  • Amigos (1976) US: Gold
  • Festival (1977) US: Gold
  • Moonflower (1977) US: 2x Platinum
  • Inner Secrets (1978) US: Gold
  • Oneness: Silver Dreams, Golden Reality (1979; C.S.)
  • Marathon (1979) US: Gold
  • The Swing of Delight (1980; C.S.)
  • Zebop! (1981) US: Platinum
  • Shango (1982)
  • Havana Moon (1983; C.S. with Booker T & the MGs, Willie Nelson, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds)
  • Beyond Appearances (1985)
  • Freedom (1987)
  • Blues for Salvador (1987; C.S.)
  • Spirits Dancing in the Flesh (1990)
  • Milagro (1992)
  • Sacred Fire: Live in South America (1993) US: Gold
  • Santana Brothers (1994; C.S. with Jorge Santana & Carlos Hernandez)
  • Supernatural (1999) US: 15x Platinum
  • Shaman (2002) US: 2x Platinum
  • All That I Am (2005) US: Gold

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