Santana is a Mexican rock band based around guitarist Carlos Santana and founded in the late 1960s. It first came to public attention after their performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, when their latin rock provided a contrast to other acts on the bill. This initial exposure made their first, eponymous album a hit at the time, followed in the next two years by successful follow-ups Abraxas and Santana III.

Over the next few years, lineup changes were common and although retaining a basis of latin rock, Carlos Santana's increasing involvement with guru Sri Chinmoy took the band further into more esoteric music, which continued for many years, although never quite losing the initial latin influence.

In 1998, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Carlos Santana, Jose Chepito Areas, David Brown, Mike Carabello, Gregg Rolie and Michael Shrieve being honored.

Santana has achieved a total of eight Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards which were all awarded in 2000. Carlos also won two Grammy Awards as a solo artist in 1989 and 2003.


Early DaysEdit

The band was formed in 1967 in San Francisco as the Carlos Santana Blues Band with the help of Tom Fraser. The first established members were Carlos Santana (lead guitar), Tom Fraser (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), Mike Carabello (percussion), Rod Harper (drums), David Brown (bass guitar) and Gregg Rolie (Hammond Organ B3). The group's first audition with this line up was at the Avalon Ball Room in the late summer of 1967. After the audition, Chet Helms the promotor, in concert with The Family Dog, told the band that they would never make it in the San Francisco Music Scene playing Latin fusion and suggested Carlos keep his day job washing dishes at Tick Tock's Drive-In on 3rd St.

Woodstock & breakthroughEdit

Previous band membersEdit

Vocals Keyboards Guitar
*Leon Thomas: 1973 *Gregg Rolie: 1967-71 *Tom Fraser: 1967-68
Bass Guitar Drums Percussion
*Gus Rodriguez: 1967 *Danny Aptos: 1967 *Mike Carabello (Congas): 1966-67, 1969–71
Other Instruments
*Jules Broussard: saxophone 1974-75

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