Carlos Santana was born in Mexico in 1947 and introduced to traditional
music by his father, a mariachi violinist, when he was five years old. In 1955, Santana moved from his hometown of Autlan to Tijuana; at the age of eight, Santana was influenced by such classic guitarists as B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and John Lee Hooker and played in several local bands. In 1961, Santana moved to San Francisco where he continued to develop his unique style of music; he formed the Santana Blues Band in 1966 which went on to play in the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and San Franscisco's Fillmore West in 1972 with the help of rock promoter Bill Graham. Fleetwood Mac was actually present while Santana auditioned for an opener slot in one of Graham's shows at the Winterland Ballroom. These performances introduced many audiences to Santana's blend of congas, timbales, maracas, and Latin rhythms. The self-titled debut album of Santana in 1969 contained heavy Latin rhythms accompanied by Carlos' expert guitar playing, and set a popular trend for Latin music throughout the 1970's. In November, 1970, Santana remade Fleetwood Mac's 'Black Magic Woman.' In reference to their lead guitarist, Santana stated, "For me in playing there are only two elements: emotion and grace. The Supernatural by Peter Green is all emotion and grace, you know what I mean? You can't say, 'Well Peter, where did you put the little pinky and what volume was your amp at...?' That's not really what it's about-- it's about the inner mechanics." Santana has enjoyed fourteen gold and nine platinum albums. Santana has also participated in many humanitarian efforts including 'Blues for Salvador,' relief for the victims of the San Francisco earthquake, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In January 1998, Santana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he played 'Black Magic Woman' with Peter Green, who was also inducted at that time with Fleetwood Mac. In February 2000, Santana was further honored by winning eight Grammy Awards including Record of the Year (Smooth), Album of the Year (Supernatural), and Song of the Year (Smooth).
Return to the Peter Green page.