Carlos Santana is a Mexican-American rock guitarist who was born on July 20th, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Mexico. In the late 1960s, San Francisco emerged musically with the hippy movement, and it was there where Santana developed his peculiar style as a guitarist, made of a mixture of Latin music and rock, without neglecting jazz or funk.
In 1969 he participated in the mythical Woodstock festival. He got a tremendous success with his song Evil Ways, which reveals the influence of salsa and funk, and with one of his best known songs, Oye como va, an example of Caribbean music with that Santana’s rock guitar. His current net worth is $40 million and he is still influenced many musicians around the world.
He grew up in Tijuana, where his family moved in 1955. There he was introduced to “traditional music” by Jose, his father, a mariachi violinist. As a teenager, he learnt how to play trumpet and violin. After a tour his father made around the state of California, he brought him a Gibson guitar as a gift.
He soon was interested in B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and T-Bone Walker. At the age of 14, he started playing in bars, and in local bands.
Moving to USA.
In 1960 his family moved to San Francisco and in 1961, he enrolled in a school to learn English. He graduated from the James Lick Middle School. In 1965 he finished high school at Mission High School. He was accepted at California State University, Northridge University, and also at Humboldt State University, although he chose not to attend any of them.
After finishing high school in October 1965, he founded Santana Blues Band alongside Gregg Rolie, David Brown, Tom Frazer and Rod Harper.
In May 1968, he appeared in his first stable band, formed by Brown, Rolie, Jose “Chepito” Areas, Mike Carabello, and Michael Shrieve. They triumphed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival with their fusion of rock, Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms. In 1969 he published “Santana” and in 1970 “Abraxas”, which made him win first place on the American charts for six weeks and more than one million copies sold.
His track record includes eight gold and seven platinum albums. Throughout his career, he has received prestigious prizes, which we can highlight a Grammy in 1988 to the best instrumental show, and the honor to have a star in the Walk of Fame, in Hollywood. In the course of his career, he has sold more than 40 million albums and has given concerts in front of 20 million people. His recording ‘Supernatural’ gave him eight Grammy Awards, awarded by the record industry.
In 2003, the Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at number 15 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He has won 10 Grammy Awards, as well as 3 Latin Grammy Awards.