Real Name:
Carlos Augusto Alves Santana
Born On: July 20, 1947

Carlos Augusto Alves Santana is a composer, singer, guitarist and Grammy Award-winning Mexican-American Latin rock musician born on July 20, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico.

Carlos Santana is currently working with his old friend Marcelo Vieira, on his solo album ‘Marcelo Vieira’s Acoustic Sounds’.

Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana

His father, Jose, was a professional mariachi violinist; Carlos started playing violin at the age of five and he sometimes performed in mariachi orchestra of his father. When Carlos was at the age of nine his family moved to Tijuana, the border city between Mexico and California where he got interested in the guitar, rock and roll, blues music and rhythm and blues. He soon started performing with the bands in Tijuana area.

Carlos Santana moved to San Francisco, California with his family at the age of thirteen. In 1965, he graduated from ‘Mission High School’. Carlos enjoyed the music scene in San Francisco and got a chance to see his favorite musical artist like ‘Muddy Waters’ and ‘The Grateful Dead’ in ‘Fillmore Auditorium of Bill Graham.

In the late 1966, Carlos Santana formed the band ‘Santana’ (also known as Santana Blues Band’) with Tom Frazier on guitar, Rod Harper on drums, Mike Carabello on percussion, Gregg Rolie on organ/vocals and Gus Rodriguez on bass guitar. The band with their highly successful blend of salsa, blues, jazz fusion and rock became quickly popular in San Francisco.

Before the release of their first album they got a chance of performing in the ‘Woodstock Music and Art Festival’ as Bill Graham convinced the promoters to let them appear on the stage and that was one of the surprises of the festival. The band’s popularity increased after their eleven-minute instrumental ‘Soul Sacrifice’ in the Woodstock film and IJIIsoundtrack albums.

The band released their first debut album ‘Santana’ in 1969 which became a big hit and reached number four on the U.S. album charts. They also recorded for Willie Bobo’s song ‘Evil Ways’ which reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, singles popularity chart of ‘Billboard Magazine’. Santana’s second album ‘Abraxas’ was a big hit and went on to sell over four million copies and reached number one on the albums chart.

The album ‘Abraxas’ included English band Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Black Magic Woman’, became an international hit with his innovative musical blend and Tito Puente’s ‘Oye Como Va’ hit out of salsa legend and numbered four and thirteen on album charts.

In 1973, Carlos Santana married Deborah king, daughter of the late blues singer and guitarist Saunders King. They have three children Stella, Angelica and Salvador. Carlos Santana founded a nonprofit organization ‘The Milagro Foundation’ with his wife Deborah. The organization provides financial aid for medical, educational and other needs.

He released the album ‘Supernatural’ in 1999,  which included the collaboration with Rob Thomas, Everlast, Lauryn Hill, Cee-Lo, Eric Clapton, Wyclef Jean, Dave Mathews, Mana and others. The album ‘Supernatural’ won him nine Grammy Awards of which eight for Santana personally. Santana’s ‘The Game of Love’ in the album ‘Shaman’ won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

Carlos Santana was named fifteenth in the “List of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” on Rolling Stone magazine in August 2003. He was ranked number five on the “List of the 100 Greatest Rock and Roll Artist of All Time’ by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004.

Some of his albums include:

  • Santana (1969)
  • Abraxas (1970)
  • Santana III, (1971)
  • Caravanserai and Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live! (1972)
  • Welcome and Love Devotion Surrender (1973)
  • Lotus (live), Borboletta and Illuminations (1974)
  • Amigos (1976)
  • Festival and Moonflower (1977)
  • Inner Secrets (1978)
  • Marathon and Oneness: Silver Dreams, Golden Reality (1979)
  • The Swing of Delight (1980)
  • Zebop! (1981)
  • Shango (1982)
  • Havana Moon (1983)
  • Beyond Appearances (1985)
  • Freedom and Blues for Salvador (1987)
  • Sacred Fire: Live in South America (1993)
  • Santana Brothers (1994)
  • Spirits Dancing in the Flesh (1990)
  • Milagro (1992)
  • Santana Live at the Fillmore (1997)
  • Supernatural (1999)
  • Shaman (2002)
  • All That I Am (2005)