Delivered with a level of passion and soul equal to the legendary sonic charge of his guitar, the sound of Carlos Santana is one of the world's best-known musical signatures. For more than four decades - from Santana's earliest days as a groundbreaking Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion outfit in San Francisco - Carlos has been the visionary force behind artistry that transcends musical genres, generational, cultural and geographical boundaries.
Long before the category now known as "world music" was named, Santana's ever-evolving sound has always been ahead of its time in its universal appeal, and today registers as ideally in sync with the 21st century's pan-cultural landscape. And, with a dedication to humanitarian outreach and social activism that parallels his lifelong relationship with music, Carlos Santana is as much an exemplary world citizen as a global music icon.
Carlos Santana's current project is Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through The Hits, a musical retrospective created exclusively for the new Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Santana will be the first act to hold a residency at the spectacular, newly-expanded venue, and the band will perform 72 times at the Joint over the course of 2009 and 2010. The show, produced by AEG live and debuting in May '09, includes Santana numbers ranging from "Jingo"—the group's first-ever charting single—and early classics including "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va" through the Supernatural "Smooth" years and the group's most recent hit, 2008's "Into the Night."
Carlos' influence and idealism is also felt in the groundbreaking new project Architects of a New Dawn, a multi-platform media enterprise and social network designed to empower like-minded people from all walks of life to create positive change in the global community. The project grew out of a vision Carlos has been developing for almost 20 years to engage his worldwide audience with extraordinary music, progressive media content and transformational ideas. It is all in the service of building—architecting—a new reality for the planet based on inspiration, creativity, love and forgiveness.
Santana's star arrived in the era-defining late '60s San Francisco Bay area music scene with historic shows at the Fillmore and other venues. They emerged onto the global stage with an epic set at Woodstock '69, the same year that their self-titled debut LP came out. Introducing Santana's first Top 10 hit, "Evil Ways," the disc stayed on Billboard's album chart for 2 years, and was soon followed by two more classics - and Billboard #1 albums - Abraxas and Santana III.
Forty years and as many albums later, Santana has sold more than 90 million records and reached over 100 million fans at concerts around the globe. To date, Santana has won ten GRAMMY® Awards and two Latin GRAMMYs. Among them are a bevy for 1999's Supernatural—which has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide—including GRAMMYs for Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Smooth." In 1998, the group was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whose web page on their induction notes, "Guitarist Carlos Santana is one of rock's true virtuosos and guiding lights." Among many other honors, Carlos Santana has also been cited by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time," and #90 on their 2005 survey of the "100 Greatest Artists Of All Time."
Most recently, Carlos Santana is the recipient of the Billboard Latin Music Awards' 2009 Lifetime Achievement honor (he also received Billboard's Century Award in 1996), and the music of Santana has been celebrated with two album retrospectives. Multi-Dimensional Warrior (Columbia/Arista/Legacy, 2008) is a career-spanning 2-CD anthology presenting 28 selections hand-picked by Carlos, who calls the project, "a love letter to the fans." Divided between tracks with vocals and instrumental compositions, it emphasizes album cuts and personal favorites that evoke the band's hypnotic musical power and give deeper insight into its complex creative journey. The set follows up 2007's Ultimate Santana, the only single-disc collection uniting hits from the group's recent albums for Arista and classics from their Columbia years.
As profound as his artistic legacy is Carlos' dedication to humanitarian work. His Milagro Foundation, originally established by Carlos and Deborah Santana in 1998, has granted more than three million dollars to non-profit programs supporting underserved children and youth in the areas of arts, education and health. Milagro means "miracle," and the image of children as divine miracles of light and hope - as gifts to our lives - is the inspiration behind its name.