Santana Essay Research Paper Santana was born

Santana Essay, Research Paper

Santana was born on July 20, 1947 in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico. His dad

was a Violinist and Carlos learned to play the Guitar at age 8. In 1955

he moved to Tijuana and began to play in strip clubs. He was inspired

by B.B. King, Little Richard, and Ray Charles. In the early 1960?s he

moved again to San Francisco where his father hoped to find work.

In San Francisco he got the chance to see his idols, which made

him want to practice more to become better. After several

years of dishwashing in a diner he decided to become a full

time musician. In 1966 he formed a band called the Santana

Blues Band, with fellow street musicians bassist David Brown

and keyboard player Gregg Rolie.

With their highly original blend of Latin-infused rock, jazz, blues,

salsa, and African rhythms, the band which quickly became known simply as

Santana gained an immediate following on the San Francisco club scene. The

band?s early success, capped off by a memorable performance at Woodstock

in 1969, led to a recording contract with Columbia Records. Their first

album, Santana which came out in 1969, spurred by a Top 10 single, ?Evil

Ways,? that went triple platinum, selling over four million copies and

remaining on the Billboard chart for over two years. Abraxas, released

in 1970, went platinum, scoring two more hit singles, ?Oye Como Va? and

?Black Magic Woman.? The band?s next two albums, Santana III that came

out in1971 and Caravanserai, which came out in 1972, were also critical

and popular successes. As the band?s personnel changed frequently,

the band Santana came to be associated almost exclusively with Santana

himself?who soon became the only remaining member of the original trio. In

addition to his work with his band, Santana recorded and performed with

a number of other musicians, notably including the jazz drummer Buddy

Miles, pianist Herbie Hancock, and guitarist John McLaughlin. Along with

McLaughlin, Santana became a devoted follower of the spiritual guru Sri

Chimnoy during the early 1970s. Disillusioned with the druggy world of

1970s rock music, Santana turned to Chimnoy?s teachings of meditation

and to a new kind of spiritually-oriented music, marked by a popular

jazz album he recorded with McLaughlin, Love, Devotion, Surrender,

in 1973. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Santana and his band

released a string of successful albums in their unique style. Notable

albums of this time period included Amigos in 1976 and Zebop in 1981.

During the 1980s, he continued to tour and record both solo and with the

band, but his popularity began to decrease with the commercial audience?s

dwindling interest in the jazz/rock blend. Santana earned his first Grammy

Award, for Best Instrumental Performance, for the 1987 solo album Blues

for Salvador. He toured extensively, playing in sold-out auditoriums

and on tours like LiveAid in 1985 and Amnesty International in 1986.

Santana left Columbia in 1991 and signed with Polydor, releasing Milagro

in 1992 and Sacred Fire: Live in South America in 1993. Though he ended

his association with Sri Chimnoy in 1982, he remained very spiritual;

this came through strongly during his live performances. In 1994,

he played at the commemorative concert at Woodstock, 25 years after

his band?s first performance at the original festival. Under his own

label, Guts and Grace, he released a collaborative album, Brothers,

with his brother Jorge Santana and nephew Carlos Hernandez, that was

nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental in 1994. Santana?s

comeback on the pop charts began in 1997, when he re-signed the band

with his first producer and mentor, Davis, then the president of Arista

Records. Davis made a roster of famous musicians among them were: Eric

Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, and Wyclef Jean?to perform on the

legendary guitarist?s 35th album, Supernatural, released in 1999. By

early 2000, the album had sold 10 million copies worldwide and made

a Number 1 hit single, ?Smooth,? featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20.

Nominated in nine categories at the Grammy Awards including Album of the

Year Supernatural, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year ?Smooth.?

Santana won in every category. With his eight awards Santana tied Michael

Jackson?s 1983 record for most Grammy Awards won in a single year.


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