#HispanicHeritageMonth - Carlos Santana

“Now is our time. Latinos need to unite with respect and dignity, not the stereotypes like Scarface that Hollywood likes to show."

Hailing from the foggy city of San Francisco, Carlos Santana is known worldwide for the iconic smooth sounds of his guitar with a twist that is unlike any other. His distinctive style of Latin, jazz, rock, and blues fused together takes everybody off their feet and onto the dance floor.

Carlos Santana was born July 20, 1947, in Autlan De Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. From a young age, Santana devoted his life to music. At five years old, he was already playing the violin. At eight, he had already picked up playing the instrument that would make us fall in love- the guitar.

As a young adult, his early sounds were inspired by popular voices of the 1950s such as BB King, T-Bone Walker, and John Lee Hooker. His music is also influenced by the abundance of music genres from San Francisco in the 1960s.

In 1966, Santana abandoned his job as a dishwasher to become a full-time musician. He was a frequent visitor of Bill Graham’s Fillmore West. Upon performing a solo during a show, his artistry drew local attention. His growth as an artist would allow for his career to grow alongside David Brown, Marcus Malone, and Gregg Rolie, who would later form the Santana Blues.

Today, Santana has 10 Grammy’s as well as 3 Latin Grammy’s under his name and still recording music. In addition to his musical accomplishments, him and his wife started the Milagro Foundation in 1998 which is geared towards helping children become accessible to the healthcare and education they deserve. This month, Gladeo is proud to feature Carlos Santana for his influence in the music industry, his passion for Latino representation in Hollywood, and his belief that the youth should be given the resources they need to succeed.

“Everything is a battlefield. If you fight with anger, you are part of the problem. If you fight with joy, you're part of the solution.”

Alex Walker-Griffin, Scribe - Social Blogger

Tiffany Gonzales, Head Scribe

Joseph Fortuno, Gladeo League Program Director