I was introduced to Santana in 1969, and have followed along ever since. At times, it was simply a musical path: I discovered jazz through the band's spiritual and jazz-influenced mid-'70s albums. Then, as Carlos Santana — a child of Mexico — made a name for himself in mainstream America, it was a lesson of cultural identity; of how to stay true to your roots while creating a space for your own unique voice.
I am not alone. Legions of fans around the world find something for themselves in Carlos Santana's music, and see him not just as one of the few survivors of the Woodstock generation. They also see him as a musician who stays true to a vision of spreading peace and enlightenment, one note at a time.
Santana's message as an Alt.Latino Guest DJ is simple: Stay true to your light. A deeper dive into that spirituality can be found in Chapter 14 of his new memoir, The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story To Light.
The songs he selected for this Guest DJ appearance reflect both earthly and spiritual joys. Some of the songs bring back memories of his childhood in Mexico, of his earliest days at the Fillmore Ballroom in 1960s San Francisco, and of the sound of his father singing a mariachi serenade.
Ultimately, it's best to let the music speak for itself. These are the songs that inspire Carlos Santana, as well as some of his own music. Like so many others over the past few decades, I've found enough of myself in his work that I always come back for more.
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