Carlos Santana is a highly eminent musician who is the headliner of his band titled Santana. He is known for his innovative brand of music that carries both Latin American and rock influences. He is also a very famous and talented guitarist who has been placed at the twentieth position on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the top 100 greatest guitarists. Apart from the guitar, he plays other instruments too such as the congas and timbales which are quite common in Latin American music but not in rock.

Santana is also a highly decorated musician. To date, he has won ten Grammy Awards.

His songs Maria, Maria and Black Magic Woman are considered by music fans to be as popular as anthems. This is a brief biography of this highly talented personality.

He is also an occasional writer. He wrote one episode of the TV series Miami Vice. He has also written for shows like Best of the Best and Derrick.

Early Life and Beginning of Career

Carlos Santana was born in the Mexican city of Autlán de Navarro on July 20, 1947. He is of Mexican Latin American ethnicity. His father was a mariachi musician, which is a traditional Mexican singer. His brother, Jorge Santana, also grew up to be a guitarist. In his early childhood, his father moved on to the city of Tijuana, and finally entered America and settled in San Francisco. Santana did his schooling here. He was selected to the California State University and Humboldt State University, but he wished to pursue a music career and declined both offers.

Santana learned to play the guitar and joined a smalltime band called Tijuana Strip. He learned the basics of folk music and jazz. He earned money in his early days by washing dishes at a diner and busking. Later, in 1966, he got his first chance to perform at a Sunday matinee show. This is where he was noticed and started getting more offers. He joined hands with David Brown, Marcus Malone, and Gregg Rolie and formed the band Santana.


Santana the band became immensely popular because of the fresh whiff it brought to the pop and rock culture of that day, which had reached a point of saturation. It reached tremendous popularity levels in the San Francisco network, so much so that they soon received a recording contract with the company Columbia Records.

Today, the band has spanned 40 years of its existence and has released multiple albums. The first album was eponymously titled Santana, and they went over to release super hit albums such as Abraxas, Moonflower, Spirits Dancing in the Flesh, Supernatural, and All that I Am. Their biggest hits have been Smooth, Black Magic Woman, Maria, Maria, The Game of Love, and Into the Night.

Personal Life

Santana was born a Mexican. In 1965, he became a naturalized citizen of America. He went through a rough patch, personally, in 2007 when his wife of thirty-four years decided to divorce him. Post the divorce, he got engaged with Cindy Blackman. Santana has three children. His net worth is estimated to be $40 million.

Last Modified: Apr 7, 2020

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