In the late 1960’s when the San Francisco Bay area was dominated by Psychedelia, Carlos Santana introduced the Latin feeling with a proposal blending of energized salsa percussion with rock, blues, and jazz that took his band to compete with the hottest pop rock stars of the moment.
Mexican Carlos Augusto Alves Santana was born on July 20, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco. Son to a Mariachi violinist, Carlos was introduced to music in childhood playing alongside his father in his Mariachi orchestra before moving with his family to the border city of Tijuana, Baja California.
At age 13, Carlos Santana was already familiarized to rock & roll and rhythm and blues and began playing with local bands and musicians, including legendary Mexican rock guitarist Javier Bátiz, before moving to San Francisco, where Carlos graduated from Mission High School before getting back to music scene.
Working as a dishwasher, Carlos Santana formed his own band, the Santana Blues Band, in 1966 after feeling embraced by the music of Grateful Dead and Muddy Waters. Working as a collective group, Santana Blues Band saw their name shortened to simply Santana when Columbia Records signed the band and released their self-titled debut album on August 1969.
Santana’s breakthrough into the mainstream came in the same month with the band's performance at the Woodstock festival followed by a nationwide tour. The album "Santana" peaked the Billboard's Top Five chart and remained there for two years with the single "Jingo" selling over two million copies worldwide.
Santana's second album, "Abraxas" consolidated the band, making singles like "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va" some of the most representative classic songs of the group.
As a band, Santana's lineup had many changes with members departing and being replaced. However, the group's identity has always relied on Carlos Santana, a contributed factor that helped spawn the popularity of the band throughout four decades.
As solo artist, Carlos Santana has also achieved his own fame, voted number 15 on Rolling Stone magazine's List of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in August 1003 and number 90 among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
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