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Carlos Santana

By the time he joined Greg Rolie in 1966 to found the band that still bears his name, Mexican-born teenager Carlos Santana was already a veteran musician; he played the clubs and bars of Tijuana as a child and continued to hone his craft when his family moved to San Francisco in the early '60s. And, while he's probably best known for his work with the Santana band, the guitarist has shown fearless creativity and openness to unusual collaborations, as eventually seen in the band's Supernatural and Shaman, in his solo projects.

His solo work has always run concurrently with his work in the band, and drawn inspiration from many traditions. Even as the Santana band was bursting on the local scene in 1968, for example, Carlos Santana was making his recording debut on The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper. In subsequent years, he's worked with such varied colleagues as John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Willie Nelson, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Booker T. and the MG's, as well as contributing the score to the movie "La Bamba." There's no predicting what spirit will move Carlos Santana next, but chances are the results will be interesting -- and rigorously faithful to the convictions that sparked their creation.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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