From psychedelic blues to fusion jazz to mainstream pop-rock, from the Fillmore to Woodstock to the Hard Rock Las Vegas, Carlos Santana has seared his unmistakable guitar groove into the fabric of popular music for more than 40 years.
Santana started playing guitar when he was 8 and performed at clubs as a teenager after his family moved to Tijuana. Another move north put him in the middle of the burgeoning San Francisco scene, and stardom soon followed. His namesake band was one of the biggest commercial successes spawned by the 1960s San Francisco scene, combining blues-rock fundamentals with Afro-Latin rhythms and a visionary spirit.
Santana himself followed that spirit on an eclectic path in the ’70s and ’80s, working with such jazz luminaries as Wayne Shorter and John McLaughlin and periodically returning to his rock roots.
He lost his mass audience along the way, then found an even bigger one in 1999 with his guest-star-studded, Grammy-magnet album “Supernatural.” Santana (as a band) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In his post-“Supernatural” years, Santana established a residency at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.