Posted | 2 Comments
Santana journeys toward joy
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / email@example.com
He’s magical, spiritual — and so is his guitar technique.
Where: Blaisdell Arena
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Info: 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com
His music has been a force in American rock ‘n’ roll since the 1960s, and right up through the turn of the millennium.
He brought Latin-American rhythms and phrases into the forefront of U.S. culture, ultimately recombining threads of Latin, jazz, rock, blues and funk into his own heady stew.
Carlos Santana has played his way into the hearts and minds of millions of fans worldwide, garnering 10 Grammy Awards — nine of them connected to 1999′s hit album, “Supernatural,” with its monster singles “Smooth” and “Maria, Maria.”
In 1998, his group was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This year, Santana announced his ambition to record with fellow superstar guitarists Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and former Santana bandmate Neal Schon.
So it’s no surprise that tickets flew out the door when he announced his Tuesday concert at Blaisdell Center.
Santana’s concert has been nearly sold out for weeks, but once the stage setup is finalized, sideline tickets that may include prime seats will be released via Ticketmaster and the Blaisdell box office, the promoter said.
This is likely to happen today — so if you’re still hoping to get to the concert, don’t delay in checking outlets.
WHEN SANTANA’S call came through from California, the musician was playing guitar nearby. The unmistakable, crystalline sound of his ringing high notes pierced the distance.
It was a reminder that Santana’s sound is one of a kind, and retains its siren attraction in a world of noise.
“I was trying to capture a new intro for this year,” he said, taking the phone. “I’m going to call it ‘Illuminado,’ which means illuminated.”
In a warm, cheerful voice inflected with the trace of an accent, reflecting his birthplace in Jalisco, Mexico, Santana wasted no time in guiding the conversation to his preoccupation — spiritual well-being.
“Whether I’m playing my guitar or transmitting with my tongue, I like inviting people to the best in themselves,” he said. “For example, I like reminding people that everyone is significant, meaningful, and everyone can make a difference in the world.”
With his public performances, interviews or appearances, Santana said he’s “engaged in encouraging people to claim their own light.
“Humans have a magic wand. It is called willingness. With willingness you realize that you were born connected with possibilities and opportunities, which is the universe.”
He said his drive to reach listeners worldwide with his music and message takes shape as an “energy to be of service.”
And when he is not playing, he is “replenishing,” he said.
Now 65, Santana said he’s likely to spend his free time reading, “spending time with my wife, and just giggling” (perhaps on Maui, where the couple often spends time), and “learning about things that we love, which is Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock,” jazz standard-bearers who form a musical touchstone in his life.
Santana communes with the heavens when playing guitar, he said. And he expects Hawaii people to understand that.
“My mom asked me a while ago, she said, ‘Where do you go when you look up in the sky like that before you hit the high note — that note that gives people chills?’
“I said, ‘Mom, there’s a place up in heaven where everything becomes a moment in eternity. … There’s a moment outside of time.
“Here in this planet, everything’s built around time. Negative people say, ‘Time is money — you’re wasting my time!’… That’s what I like about Hawaii. When people say, ‘I’m in a hurry,’ they say, “Get out of here!’”
HE’S RECORDING a new “Supernatural” album, this time “with only Latino people.”
“I also want to record an album, hopefully, with just African rhythms, African music, which is what Santana is, with Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Neal Schon. We’ll see if that happens. …
“I also want to do one album that’s just for lovers, just ballads, that you can just” — and here he drew in his breath, demonstrating the thought — “take a deep breath and get a full-on, soulful hug.”
Creative ideas come to him constantly, he said. “I just don’t let my fears block them.”
RON GIBSON remembers Santana’s appearance in Diamond Head Crater, alongside Buddy Miles on Jan. 1, 1972, at the “Sunshine ’72 Festival.”
The concert was a sensation, and a recording of the live performance was later released as an album, “Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles: Live!”
Gibson was there, as a young manager (he worked with Van Morrison at the time), and remembers it as the “Woodstock of the Pacific.”
Along with Germany-based promoter Marek Lieberberg, Gibson is bringing Santana to Hawaii for two shows, including a Maui concert on Thursday.
Santana has been visiting the islands since 1969. He has a home on Maui that he is selling, but wants to build a smaller place in Hana.
On his last visit to Maui, Santana said, he and his wife watched a rainbow float overhead for three hours one morning.
“I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my God, a rainbow’s not supposed to last this long! And it just kept getting bigger and bigger.”