Carlos Santana

image for Carlos Santana
Exhibition Label
Carlos Santana is a guitarist and songwriter who infused rock and roll with Latin rhythms, spiritual visions, jazz improvisation, and African musical practices. Born and raised in Mexico, Santana was integral to the 1960s San Francisco music scene and a leading force of the multiethnic countercultural imagination: he gave historic performances at the Fillmore West and Woodstock while his albums went platinum. Santana’s slow, piercing guitar solos combine blues feeling with jazz phrasing, and they set off the band’s pan–Latin American rhythmic foundation as drawn from boogaloo, salsa, funk, Cuban rhythms, and the early rock and roll of Ritchie Valens. His quest for spiritual music practices led him deeper into jazz (via John Coltrane and Miles Davis), then into Indian ragas (via John McLaughlin), and then to African music. His 1999 song "Smooth" was an apt global hit at the turn of the millennium.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© Herb Greene
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
1972 (printed 2005)
Object number
Herb Greene, born 1942
Carlos Santana, born 20 Jul 1947
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Carlos Santana: Male
Carlos Santana: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Carlos Santana: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Guitarist
Carlos Santana: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Rock
Gelatin silver print
Image: 46.3 x 38.3cm (18 1/4 x 15 1/16")
Sheet: 55.5 x 45.3cm (21 7/8 x 17 13/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
National Portrait Gallery