Carlos Santana – the pioneer of Latin rock and roll.
Santana – an American guitarist – rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band Santana
The band pioneered a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz.
Santana was born in Mexico. He learned to play the violin – tutored by his dad, a mariachi musician – at age five and by age eight the guitar.
The family eventually moved to the U.S., ending up in San Francisco.
For a while he worked as a dishwasher and busking on the side.
In 1966 he formed his own band, which became quite popular in the San Francisco area.
Three years later – 1969 – the band signed its first record deal.
But before they even recorded their first album they performed at the Woodstock music festival, giving an electrifying 11 minutes performance, garnering a wide following among music fans.
Later in the 1970s the band began to lose its fame but in 1997 it made a phenomenal comeback under the direction of the legendary music producer, Clive Davis.
Rolling Stone recognized his talent:
“He’s one of the greatest (guitar) players who ever lived. His guitar has a very distinctive sound — it’s like a fingerprint. His tone just bleeds through everything. His playing is both simple and complicated — he can communicate with just one or two notes. He speaks languages through his music that people can understand in any country, any language.”