Carlos grew up in a very small seaside town of Autlan in the state of Jalisco a little town down between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta
 

The seven children by Jose Santana and his wife Josefina Barragan in order of age are: Antonio, Laura, Irma, Carlos, Leticia, Jorge, and Maria 

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Los Indios Tabajara, the two guitar playing Brazilian brothers from Ceara, Brazil whose recording career began in 1943 and achieved a top 10 hit of the Mexican folk song, Maria Elena made an early impact on Carlos. more

DownloadSun Ra's (1914-1993) work is a source of breath-taking jazz originality

On July 20, 1947 at 2am, Jose Santana, a professional musician  and his wife Josefina Barragan at 2am added a fourth child to their growing family in the small Mexico of Autlan De Navarro in the Mexican state of  Jalisco.

When he was born, his aunt told his mother he was cristalino, or someone who would make a mark. His mother thought he would enter the church. They named him Carlos.

Even as a boy, Carlos seemed special to his mother, Josefina Barragan de Santana. He was her middle child, born in the Mexican state of Jalisco. He stood out because his lips were full and red and his complexion was lighter than the others, considered a blessing in Mexico's color-based society.

But his spirit seemed special, too. "Carlos has a big angel," his aunt would say, meaning his life was charmed. "The boy is going to grow up to be a bishop," she told his mother. "He's going to preach to the multitudes."
 

His father, as a professional mariachi violinist, would travel a lot, sometimes as long as year. Between trips he began teaching his talented son the violin at the age of five.
Santana: "My father's a musician, his father was a musician, my great-grandfather was a musician," he told James Schaffer in Down Beat. Santana added, "Dad taught me the violin for almost seven years, and I could never get anything out of it. I always sounded like Jack Benny no matter how hard I tried. Only Jack Benny could really play, but I sounded like Jack Benny when he was fooling around."
"My father taught me a lot of music when I was just a child; about European music, because you know, Mexico was conquered by Spain and Germany and so that influence was also in Mexico.
Santana recalls his first musical memory: "
there was this Mexican band, dressed up with bows and arrows. They were playing some funky weird music—I didn't know it yet, but it was like Lee Perry, George Clinton, and Sun Ra mixed up; Mexican funky."

 

TIJUANA
1955

Carlos Santana (center) on violin circa 1959

© Santana Family

Horoscope reveals Roots of Caring
Carlos Santana was born July 20, 1947 at 2:00 am in Autlan De Navarro, Mexico, with the Sun, the heart of consciousness, in the tradition-loving sign of Cancer. No sign is more aware of its roots than this one. It is about connecting to the river of feeling that binds families and cultures into communities of mutual care and concern. Cancers are rarely detached or aloof. While circumstances may occasionally drive them into their protective shells, they tend to be acutely sensitive to themselves and those around them. They're natural nurturers. stariq.com source
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Santana: " There was this guy on the corner, this wino, who said "What are you looking for?" She said she was looking for her husband, and showed him a picture, and he said "Oh yeah, he's in there." This is how God works, you know, through this wino, who told her to go back there. She knocked again, and this lady comes out screaming again, but this time woke my dad up from his siesta. He stuck his head out, saw me, my six brothers and sisters, crammed in the station wagon, and his face turned like the NBC peacock, all the colors, anger and joy and fear and doubt. It was the typical Mexican story, the typical African thing.... WE
 

After the family moved to the border town of Tijuana in 1955, eight year old Carlos changed his violin to guitar.

 


 

Carlos Santana circa 1961

© Santana Family

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1961: Tijuana, Mexico
Jose moves to San Francisco, CA, but the rest of the Santana family stays in Tijuana. Josefina takes Carlos to see the T.J.'s at the Palacio Municipal. Meeting with Javier Batiz, leader of the T.J.'s. Jose sends Carlos his first electric guitar, a L5 Gibson. He joins the T.J.'s, and also plays bass in another band, The Strangers. Carlos gets a steady job at the Convoy Club on Avenida Revolucion.

 In February of 2000,  the 52-year-old Carlos Santana admitted on television to having been a victim of sexual abuse as a boy. He said he was molested over a two-year period from the age of 11.


To this day, Mrs. Santana makes sure her son doesn't stray from what she taught him. First and foremost: Be humble and be afraid of money.

Rolling Stone March 16 2000 articlemerican man who gave him presents brought him across the border from Tijuana, Mexico, and molested him "almost every other day" between the ages of 10 and 12, he told the magazine. "My first encounter with sexuality was not a pleasant one or romantic or tender or wonderful," he is quoted as saying in the March 16 issue. "It was more like a shock kind of thing; gross, disgusting shock." At his wife's urging, Santana entered therapy in 1995 to help him deal with the abuse. "You want to get angry with yourself for not knowing better," he reportedly said. "The mind has a very insidious way of making you feel guilty: You're the guilty party, shame on you, you're the one who brought this on yourself."
 Tijuana, Mexico/San Francisco, CA
1962: Josefina and the rest of the Santana family, except Carlos, join Jose in San Francisco. Later, Carlos joins them for three months, but returns to Tijuana on Wednesday Oct 31.
1963: San Francisco, CA
Josefina and Antonio bring Carlos back to San Francisco for good. He attends James Lick Junior High School. Carlos plays in a local band with no name that reaches the top three in the final round of a radio station contest at the Cow Palace.

Santana eventually followed his family from Mexico to San Francisco, where he was encouraged by an insightful high school teacher.
    The teacher told Santana, who was an indifferent student, that he needed to find a passion.
    "There's no room on this planet for someone who is 50 percent. You have to be 150 percent," Santana recalled the teacher saying.
 

http://www.milagrofoundation.org/ Carlos Santana in the mid-Sixties

heroes when you were growing up?

Carlos Santana: Oh, John Lee Hooker , Jimmy Reed , Lightnin' Hopkins , and then later on B.B. King --all the Kings, Freddie , Albert .
 
I really got my education in Tijuana — before I ever played the Fillmore — playing in some funky clubs, very close to what people call the “cut and shoot” crowd: if they don't like you, they cut and shoot you. My education came playing John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed. If you couldn't play that music, you weren't going to go anywhere. Don't even think about playing Bobby Bland or Ray Charles; you're not gonna be in it unless you can play that other stuff that was more raw.
 
The main guys for me, even before I discovered B.B. King, who had such an influence on me, were T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, and my father-in-law Saunders King. They were the guys who went from what Freddie Green was doing — that chunk, chunk, chunk, chunk comping he did with Count Basie; he never played a solo — to making the guitar a voice, like a saxophone, where you could play melodies and scales and things like that. Before that the guitar was like painting in the background. There were others, too, like Michael Bloomfield and Gabor Szabo, who no one really talks about much.
 

 

http://onstagemag.com/ar/performance_c

 

 

 

 

 

1964: San Francisco, CA
Carlos works at the Tic Tock Drive In on Third Street.
He also attends Mission High School.
Meeting with Stan Marcum and Ron Estrada.
1965: San Francisco, CA
Carlos catches tuberculosis, and spends three months at the Mission General Hospital. He graduates from Mission High School on Wednesday June 9.

 


Summer 1966: Palo Alto, CA
Tom Frazier invites Carlos Santana to jam with some musicians, among them Gregg Rolie, future co-founder of the Santana Blues Band.
Fall 1966: After
finishing High School in October 1966, he founded the Santana Blues Band
Santana Blues Band #1: Carlos Santana (g/perc/vo), Michael Carabello (perc), Tom Frazier (g), Danny Haro (ds), Gus Rodriguez (b), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo)
Late 1966:
Santana Blues Band #2: Carlos Santana (g/perc/vo), Michael Carabello (perc), Tom Frazier (g), Rod Harper (ds), Gus Rodriguez (b), Gregg Rolie (kbd/vo)
   discovered jazz. According to Mark Rowland in the liner notes for the album Viva Santana!, Santana also discovered "the salsa giants like Tito Puente, Ray Baretto and Eddie Palmieri." Santana explained to Rowland that salsa was "a serious music, proud. A positive side, a dignifying side of Africa through Cuba and Puerto Rico." The band Santana was formed in 1966 around the talents of bass guitarist David Brown and keyboard player Gregg Rolie. The band's improvisational sessions rooted in Latin American rhythms quickly became popular with jazz enthusiasts who recognized its creativity in combining salsa and blues riffs.
    • Graduates Mission High School, June.
       
    • Carlos working as a dishwasher at the Tic Tock diner.
       
    • Santana Blues Band formed.
       
    • Played weekends at the Ark in Sausalito.
       
    • Played weekends at the Matrix in San Francisco.

links

arlos_santanas_magic/

 

 
1961 Jose moves to San Francisco, CA, but the rest of the Santana family stays in Tijuana. Josefina takes Carlos to see the T.J.'s at the Palacio Municipal. Meeting with Javier Batiz, leader of the T.J.'s. Jose sends Carlos his first electric guitar, a L5 Gibson. He joins the T.J.'s, and also plays bass in another band, The Strangers. Carlos gets a steady job at the Convoy Club on Avenida Revolucion.
1962: Tijuana, Mexico/San Francisco, CA
Josefina and the rest of the Santana family, except Carlos, join Jose in San Francisco. Later, Carlos joins them for three months, but returns to Tijuana on Wednesday Oct 31.
1963: San Francisco, CA
Josefina and Antonio bring Carlos back to San Francisco for good. He attends James Lick Junior High School. Carlos plays in a local band with no name that reaches the top three in the final round of a radio station contest at the Cow Palace.

 He began performing with local bands like The T.J.s, adding his own personal flair to the popular songs of the 1950s. As he continued playing with different bands up and down the bustling 'Tijuana Strip,' Carlos Santana began to hone his considerable skills and invent his inimitable sound.


 In 1961, he moved Stateside to San Francisco, joining his family, who had relocated there the previous year. Destiny had most certainly brought Carlos to the right place at the right time, planting him smack in the middle of the of the burgeoning and hugely influential Bay Area music scene

 

 
 
At the 2000 Grammys in accepting the prize for the song "El Farol," Carlos dedicated his win to his father, Jose, a mariachi violinist "who taught me the value of music." He also said his success should serve as inspiration for others.
 
 

 

 
On February 27th 2001 The mayor of Autlan, the town where Santana was born, ARMANDO PEREZ gave Santana the keys to Autlan De Navarro where his father was a well-known musician.
Santana told the news conference that he learned to play music in Autlan's church Parroquia del Divino Salvador and he expanded his learning to Tijuana's bordellos.
 Later he played with the Latin Rock Band Maná before a delighted crowd in the newly dedicated Carlos Santana Civic Plaza, where a life size statue of Carlos Santana was revealed, along with a bust of his father Jose Santana, a Mariachi violinist of great local renown.
Autlán also announced that it hopes to purchase Santana's birth home to house a future Carlos Santana Museum
 
 

 

Nov 7 Fri: Jose Santana Memorial Service. Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, Walnut Creek, CA
81 min.
Exact: Prayer - Poem (1)(2) - Musical Tribute (1)(2) - Musical Tribute (3)(4)(5) - Samba Pa Ti/Europa (6)(7) - Musical Tribute (8)(9) - Light At The Edge Of The World (6)(10) - Eulogy (6) - El Farol (6)(10)
Musicians: Carlos Hernandez (1), Jorge Santana (2), Irma Santana (3), Victor Buelna (4), Mariachi Tapatio (5), Carlos Santana (6), Chester Thompson (7), Stella Santana (8), Angelica Santana (9), Salvador Santana (10)

 

He started learning and emulating sounds of artists like B. B. King, T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. He began playing in several local bands along the strip at age eleven. Carlos arrived in San Francisco's Mission District in the early sixties, rejoining his family, which had moved a year earlier.

In San Francisco he discovered a thriving cultural scene with a diversity of musical styles, including jazz, blues, international folk music, and classical salsa by the likes of Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri S

I validated my existence before I got out of high school. People would ask, "What are you going to do when you leave school?" I'd say, "I'm going to play with Michael Bloomfield and B.B. King." They thought I was crazy! I'd say, "Why are you laughing?" They'd say, "Man, you're tripping." "No, you're tripping because you don't know what you want to do. I know what I want to do, and I know who I'm going to be doing it with. And I'm going to play with those people."

Once you learn to validate your existence, you have the wind in your sails -- where do you want to go? -- and you can never commit suicide. GP Aug99

antana had a musical revelation at the Fillmore West in San Francisco in 1966, where he saw B.B. King for the first time which inspired his own famous tone on the guitar

"It was B.B.'s first time at the Fillmore, and he got a standing ovation before he even began playing," Santana told Guitar World's Alan DiPerna. "He was so moved that he started crying. And I remember, because of the way the light was hitting him, all you could see was the glitter of tears in his eyes and the diamonds on his rings when he put his hand up to his face. And when you were a kid who'd just come up from Tijuana and felt like you didn't know anything, that kind of thing really hit you. B.B. King hit the note and it changed everything for me. I said, `That's it. There's the sound I've been searching for.' I felt like a kid chasing the circus." Santana added that part of what King's playing taught him was to think in terms of the individual note. "A note is like a rose," he said. "It can be closed, or halfway open, or all the way in bloom. You have to know when to hit that note the right way-choose how each note is going to be. It's like being a gardener. You want to present the best possible bouquet."

graduating In San Francisco he found colourful and rich musical atmosphere which helped in evolving his unique guitar-style. Not long after that life-changing night at the Fillmore, Santana put together the Santana Blues Band. (Two years later, the band played a triumphant four-night stand at the legendary venue. Portions of those shows have just been released by Legacy Recordings in a two-CD set titled Live at the Fillmore West.)

Santana: Anyway, I learned a lot in Tijuana, and by the time I came to the Fillmore, what I was doing was very different than the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane or Creedence Clearwater or Sly. And by the time I unconsciously infused the things I learned with the Afro-Cuban music, it had a big impact because it was different than everything else. We gave birth to something that was in between a lot of things — rock, jazz, African music, Latin music. Miles Davis and Tito Puente would come around and they encouraged me, which meant everything to me when I was young. Miles used to say [he imitates the famous raspy whisper] “Oh man, I love that song…” talking about “Incident at Neshabur.” So that was some of my first real validation.

In 1966 he formed a band with his friends Gregg Rolie, Gus Rodriguez, Michael Carabello, naming it The Santana Blues Band. The group was the last major act to emerge from the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s and it enjoyed massive success at the end of the decade and into the early '70s.

The innovative Latin blues-rock band Santana formed in the summer of 1966 when guitarist Carlos Santana met keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rollie at a jam session in San Francisco. The pair brought in two percussionists and a bassist and formed the Santana Blues Band, which made its debut in 1966 at the Fillmore Auditorium. The group became a favorite of influential West Coast promoter and Fillmore owner Bill Graham and began performing there regularly to packed houses.
 

 [F] Interview with Carlos Santana -the early years
An interview by Steve Heilig.
(Whole Earth Summer 2000