Carlos Augusto Alves Santana was born in Mexico on July 20, 1947, the son of a mariachi violinist. Before his teens Carlos was playing the violin and guitar and upon his family moving to San Francisco he graduated from high school and soon was influenced by recording stars, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Richie Valens and B.B. King. His Santana Blues Band formed in 1966 created a following in northern California.
It was their appearance in front of more than 400,000 music fans at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 that led to the singing of a contract with Columbia records.
In early 1970 the name of the band was shortened to Santana when “Evil Ways” became their first gold single. It was followed by “Black Magic Woman,” “Oye Como Va” and a string of highly successful albums that sold in the millions.
Carlos Santana became a naturalized US citizen in 1965 and currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Becoming famous worldwide for Latin Rock, Santana won numerous Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Carlos Santana is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame andwas also inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010.