Best known the world over for the group that bears his name, Carlos Santana has been reinventing and reshaping the landscape of the known universe's musical culture for close to four decades. A visionary artist with no regards for genre boundaries, Carlos' fluid sound long ago laid claim to the concept of "world music" before the term ever surfaced on pop culture radar. Having evolved and expanded for over four decades, the "Carlos" sound could well be on its way to becoming interplanetary music.
Born in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico•where there's now a street and public square in his nameto the son of a virtuoso Mariachi violinist, Carlos followed in his father's musical footsteps, taking up the violin at the age of five. It was when his family moved to Tijuana several years later, however, that Santana began his lifelong relationship with the instrument that would make him a musical icon•-the guitar. Early on he emulated his heroes•-John Lee Hooker, T. Bone Walker, and B.B. King•who he heard on powerful American radio stations when their signals crossed the border.
In 1961, Carlos made the crossing himself, moving from his native Mexico to San Francisco. A few years later, he formed the Santana Blues Band there, and the cool, soulful riffs and rhythms of his Latin-blues based sound found an audience eager for his innovative musical ideas. Carlos and company emerged as giants of the era-defining Bay Area music scene of the late '60s, and their fame grew far beyond its parameters while their artistry remained true to its free-flying spirit.
Massive success quickly followed. By the end of the decade, Carlos had played to packed houses on a cross- country tour, performed on the venerable Ed Sullivan Show, and made an indelible global mark with Santana's legendary, crowd-detonating performance at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.
He has not slowed down since.
A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Santana has sold more than 90 million records, and performed to over 100 million people globally. He has won ten GRAMMY® Awards, including a record tying nine for a single project for his 36th album, the blockbuster 1999 disc Supernatural. Now exceeding 25 million in sales, Supernatural's citations included Album of the Year and Record of the Year for the smash single "Smooth."
Most recently, Santana garnered a GRAMMY for the hit "The Game Of Love" from his 2001 album Shaman. Santana has also won three Latin GRAMMY Awards, and in 2004, he received the Latin Recording Academy's prestigious "Person of the Year" honor. His latest album, and third for Arista, 2005's All That I Am, continues Carlos' tradition of exciting collaborations with a diverse mix of fellow groundbreaking artists.