b. July 20, 1947
Autlan de Navarro, Mexico
He started playing violin at the age of five. Carlos made the crossing from his native Mexico to San Francisco and began helping his family by working as a dishwasher. Carlos grew to enjoy the San Francisco music scene, often sneaking into Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium to listen to some of his favorites: Muddy Waters, & The Grateful Dead.
In 1966 Carlos formed the Santana Blues Band with future Journey keyboard player Greg Rollie.
By 1968, they were know simply as Santana. Bill Graham convinced the promoters of Woodstock to let Santana on the bill, even before their first album was released. They were one of the surprises of the festival; their set was legendary. Graham also gave the band some key advice to record the Willie Bobo song, 'Evil Ways', as he felt it would get them radio airplay. Their first album, simply titled Santana became a huge hit, reaching number four on the U.S. album charts.
Santana has had several musicians play with him throughout the years and managed to have sixteen, Top 50 singles along the way. Carlos is also know for including “guest” musicians on his albums including Buddy Miles in 1972, John McLaughlin in 1973, Willie Nelson in 1983, Rob Thomas in 1999, Chad Kroeger in 2004 and Steven Tyler in 2005.
Santana experienced a sudden resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990’s winning multiple Grammy Awards. Over his career, he has sold an estimated 80 million albums worldwide.