Santana IV Reunion Update

It’s been an exciting month plus for the original members of Santana and longtime Santana fans.

Texas – March 19

The Santana IV Reunion “Live” commences in stages. Gregg Rolie joins Santana in Corpus Christie, Texas on March 19th. It serves as a dress rehearsal for the Santana Mexico concerts to follow.

Gregg and Carlos
Photo Copyright Libby Fabro

Mexico – March 

Santana reunion efforts began to further gel when Gregg goes on to perform with Carlos and the Band in Monterrey, MX, Cumbre Tajin Festival and at two special co-headline events with Journey in Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Videos of Gregg Rolie sitting in with Santana performing “Black Magic Woman” begin to surface on YouTube.

Things really get exciting when the original Santana nucleus expands when Journey and Santana co-headline. We see Neal Schon playing guitar with Carlos Santana set against the rhythmic backdrop of the Santana band.

Neal Schon has been the motivator pushing for the Santana reunion. I am thankful that he has been instrumental in driving Santana IV to that goal.

Neal, Gregg and Carlos Santana do the dynamic tracks from Santana III, “Batuka/No One To Depend On”, “Everybody’s Everything”. How cool is that?

Copyright Chad Tasky

The stage is set for completing the Santana IV recording in Las Vegas the next month. Can you say supercharged? I knew that you could 😉

The Santana Three
Photo Copyright Libby Fabro

Las Vegas – April 2015

The Santana IV Reunion scene shifts to Las Vegas, Nevada. The composition and recording of the final three tracks for the Santana IV recording enters high gear. The Santana IV recording team and studio musicians assemble at Odds On Records and Studios (Audio Mix House) in Henderson, Nevada. Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello join Neal, Gregg and Carlos to put down the last tracks for Santana IV. They are joined by Benny Rietveld on bass and Karl Perazzo on percussion. Jim Reitzel, Head Engineer at Tarpan Studios mans the boards, coordinating the sounds Santana IV seeks to make. Jim has worked actively with Santana over the years. He becomes the glue to bond Santana IV together. I wonder if he will also be chiefly responsible for the mixing that follows next?

Photo courtesy of Benny Rietveld via Facebook
Copyright Chad Tasky

Neal Schon has been vocal about Santana IV touring live at some point in the future. Can wait to see Santana IV live!

I wonder what record label Santana IV will be released and distributed by. Who has the rights? SONY, Arista, or Starfish?

My hat is off to Santana IV!

Copyright Chad Tasky

Good things come to those who wait!

Special Mention

We are fortunate to have the camera team of Libby Fabro and Chad Tasky documenting the events. I think Libby Fabro is a photographer for Team Santana. Chad Tasky is a San Francisco based photographer and filmmaker. Chad was a drum tech for Santana for a time. Props to both photographers for being our inside image sources for Santana IV. Your respective photos are superb.

The First Two “Official” Santana Corazon Videos

Look for Bishop Desmond Tutu, he appears twice in the Sandiera video featuring Samuel Rosa.

The second official video, La Flaca features Juanes performing live with the Santana band.

Both videos set the stage well for the new album, Corazon which was released last week.

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Will You Welcome From My Heart, Santana

Ten years ago I was in the midst of purchasing every album in the Santana catalogue for my music collection. It’s very rare that I collect every commercial recording by an artist. When I purchased the Santana album, Milagro I discovered how pivotal this recording was in Carlos Santana’s evolutionary growth.

Cover of "Milagro"

Milagro was dedicated to the lives of Bill Graham and Miles Davis, two instrumental figures to Carlos Santana.

Here is Bill Graham’s introduction of Santana:

Good evening, thank you for being with us. Welcome to a very, very special occasion. Some years ago some of us heard and felt a very special sound, about the joy of loving, the joy of giving and thank God it’s with us this evening. Will you welcome from my heart, Santana.


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Santana – Incident At Neshabur [1970]

I discovered this Santana video from 1970. I like how clear the video is, considering the video segment was filmed 44 years ago. I especially like the percussive interplay between Michael Shrieve (drums) and Jose “Chepito” Areas (timbales). The instrumental “Incident at Neshabur” takes on a new-found significance after watching the Santana band perform.

“Incident at Neshabur” is a studio recording track that can be found on Santana’s second album, Abraxas. A mystical gem in canon of Santana recordings.

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Exciting Santana News!


Rod Stewart and Santana Live In Concert

Last year Santana conducted an East Coast tour with The Allman Brothers. We saw that event twice, once in New Jersey at the PAC and next in Hartford. It was a very satisfying gig with Carlos Santana jamming with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

This year Santana is teaming up with Rod Stewart for a series of shows called The Voice, The Guitar, The Songs which will cover the U.S. and Canada markets.

I like the two superstars on one card. Rod Stewart is the first rock headline vocalist I ever saw at The Fillmore East way back in 1969. Rod Stewart appeared as the lead singer for The Jeff Beck Group. I loved the contrast of Rod Stewart ever the dandy set against two excellent guitarists, Jeff Beck and Ron Wood.

I have been eager to see Rod Stewart perform live with a stellar guitarist. I trust Rod Stewart will collaborate with Carlos Santana.

Cover Art, Release Date for Corazon

I love the art and graphic design that accents Santana’s recordings.  I wrote about Santana Art and Artists in 2012. The vibrant electric colors are strikingly evident on the forthcoming Corazon recording.

The concept for Corazon was conceived and designed by Boa Mistura, an art collective based in Madrid, Spain that works primarily on public art pieces, developing projects in South Africa, Norway, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. For more information visit Boa Mistura’s Web site.

The Corazon album release date is May 6th on the RCA/SONY LATIN IBERIA Label.

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Carlos Santana, Mesa Boogie, Limited Edition King Snake

The number one guitarist that I have seen live, 20 times now in 44 years is Carlos Santana. What I love the most about Carlos Santana live is his tone, how he touches the music of our heart. I thought it might be valuable to share with my readers some technical insight about the amplifiers Carlos Santana plays through to produce that “Universal Tone”. It’s the vibrato that keeps me coming back to his live shows again and again.

Carlos Santana signature sound is made possible by the Mesa Boogie, King Snake.

This tribute model is an exact replica of the amp Carlos Santana toured with in 1972/73 as he introduced the world to this new sound, right down to the unique chassis size and the aged Snake-embossed Lambskin covering. It is a limited edition signature model.

Here is Carlos Santana’s guitar tech Ed Adair giving us a rig run.

You can read more about Carlos Santana & Randall Smith and the “Magic Boogie” that changed guitar tone forever in the January 2014 Guitar Player Magazine. Its available on newsstands and Guitar Center stores 🙂


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CORAZON, Superstar Concert and First All-Spanish Santana Record

Star Studded Concert  in Guadalajara, Mexico December 14, 2013

Carlos Santana announced today that he and his band SANTANA will be performing at a once in a lifetime concert event in Guadalajara, Mexico (in his native state of Jalisco) on December 14th at the Vicente Fernandez Arena, with a star-studded cast of musicians, all celebrating their Latin music heritage. Confirmed celebrity performances at the concert include Chocquibtown, Gloria Estefan, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Juanes, Miguel, Niña Pastori, Samuel Rosa of Skank, Salvador Santana, Soledad, Diego Torres, among others. More celebrity performances will be announced soon. For tickets and more information about the concert, visit

This concert is a homecoming for Carlos and a festive kick off event to mark his forthcoming album project close to his heart entitled CORAZON. In addition to the superstars performing at the December 14th show, Lila Downs, Ziggy Marley, and Romeo Santos will also be joining Santana on this star-studded album project CORAZON, projected to be released in early calendar year 2014.

CORAZON, the concert and album project brings Carlos back to his birthplace, in the city of Autlan, just south of Guadalajara and celebrates Carlos’ love of his musical heritage, as well as showcases Carlos’ own personal influence on Latin music and on today’s generation of Latin superstars. Many genres of Latin music are represented in these collaborations including pop, rock, salsa, hip-hop, folk, reggae, traditional and bachata.

SANTANA is currently in the studio in Las Vegas recording many of these superstar collaborations for CORAZON with producer Lester Mendez at the helm. CORAZON is a joint album release between Sony Latin Iberia and RCA Records. The album is executive-produced by Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Santana’s longtime collaborator and Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment, and Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO for Sony’s Latin Region, Spain and Portugal.

(Press release from Santana, Universal Tone Management, and RCA Records, Copyright 2013)

I am reminded of another Santana concert recorded and filmed in Mexico that was released 20 years ago this week, Sacred Fire: Live in Mexico. (Available both as a video and audio product). The love shared between the Mexican people and Carlos Santana is beautifully captured live for all to witness and savor. Here’s hoping that the CORAZON concert in Guadalajara will be available as a satellite pay-per-view and/or a future music video.
CORAZON could make a wonderful addition to my Santana music video concert collection, coupled with the 20 times I have seen Santana live over the years. There is nothing like a Santana concert! Viva Santana!

Previous Santana Reunions

I have been reflecting on the latest Santana reunion. It caused me to set the wayback machine to search the music of our heart for previous Santana reunions.

The two most prevalent Santana reunions (with three or more past Santana band members) that I am aware of in reverse chronological order are:

1) The Voices of Latin Rock Book Release Party at Bimbo’s Club in San Francisco on November 17, 2004.

On the stage from the original Santana band were: Carlos Santana, Gregg Rolie, Michael Shrieve, Michael Carabello and Jose “Chepito” Areas. Alphonso Johnson plays bass and he was a member of Santana twice in 1985-89, 1992.

2) Santana Concert – Shoreline Reunion 1986,  Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.

Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, Greg Rolie, Chepito Areas, Michael Carabello, Michael Shrieve, David Brown, Buddy Miles, Alex Ligertwood, Chester Thompson, Tom Coster, Alphonso Johnson, David Margen, Orestes Vilato, Armando Peraza, Jorge Santana.

The introduction by Bill Graham is especially touching.

My thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment and YouTube for preserving history and making it so readily available.

Santana Reunion Is Underway

Caravanserai (album)
Caravanserai (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last studio recording to feature the major vestiges of the original Santana band was Caravanserai released in 1972. The cover of Caravanserai featured  a journey into the desert sun.

It is only fitting that the 2013 Santana reunion is a renewed “Journey” of exploration out of the Las Vegas desert.

The Santana fan base and the musicians themselves are pumped about the Santana reunion underway by five of the original Santana members, Carlos Santana, Michael Carabello, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, and Michael Shrieve.

The Santana Reunion excitement fuse was lit on August 28th at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms in Las Vegas. Journey was the scheduled act that evening. The magic shifted when the encore segment took place. Out stepped Carlos Santana and Gregg Rollie to settle into a jam with Journey to everyone’s great delight for five minutes. They played an extended version of a Journey song “LaRaza DeSol” and “Gypsy Queen”. The band then launched into the inspiring instrumental “Soul Sacrifice,” immortalized on the Woodstock soundtrack and concert film.

Neal Schon: We also rehearsed for the 2 days I was here in Vegas with Gregg ,Carlos, Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello. We recorded and wrote and will go in the studio.

Photo: Edison Graff

Michael Shrieve posted this comment and picture on his Facebook page.

Had an amazing time making music this week with Carlos Santana, Gregg Rolie, Michael Carabello and Neal Schon. Neal was at a Journey soundcheck when we snapped this photo.

Let The Music Play!

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