Carlos Santana Gets Cosmic, Rocks Out In Queens And New Jersey

Carlos Santana is often thrown in with musical geniuses like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn – and for good reason. The 68-year-old Grammy Award-winning guitarist and rock icon is easily one of the most talented – not to mention prolific – performers of all time, proving his longevity again and again while always staying relevant for generation after generation of fans.

Right now, Carlos Santana is gearing up to perform three shows in New Jersey this weekend, with two concerts set for the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, the first at 9 p.m. tonight – Friday – as well as another at the same time Saturday, followed by a much larger show set for 8 p.m. Sunday at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. During a media blitz leading up to this weekend, Santana got deep with reporters, discussing his ongoing esoteric relationships with legends like John Lennon, Bob Marley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the recently-departed B.B. King, reported NJ.com.

“(Lennon and Marley) are not here physically anymore, but I’m here. Both of them created songs about consciousness, about soaring higher than the dark clouds of fear. That’s what the consciousness of music is all about.”

Just a few days earlier, during a telephone interview with Jeff Spevak for the Democrat and Chronicle, Santana also waxed poetic about Stevie Ray and B.B.

“Stevie Ray, he’s still with me. B.B., he’s still with me. Just because the body is not here doesn’t mean their spirit’s not there.”

Santana is currently on tour in support of his 23rd studio LP, titled Corazon, which was released in May of 2014 and features a revamped version of his old-school hit “Oye Como Va.” The song was originally released on the 1970 album Abraxas, but this time it features rapper Pit Bull, in a classic Carlos Santana-style collaboration.

Way back in 1999, Santana hit the jackpot by spanning generations and genres when he collaborated with Rob Thomas, lead singer of the group Matchbox 20, on the Grammy Award-winning song “Smooth.” The accompanying album, Supernatural, went on to sell more than 26 million copies worldwide and remains the best-selling album released by a Hispanic artist of all time.

Today, coming up on a half century since Carlos Santana first made waves with a groundbreaking performance of the song “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock, the guitarist still seems overcome by a feeling of spiritual transcendence on stage, as fans discovered while watching Santana perform August 14 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, reported the New York Daily News.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer played a mix of new and classic hits that had the crowd screaming and standing on their feet.”

After more than two hours, Santana and his band attempted to leave the stage, but the “roaring” audience demanded an encore that brought the artist back on stage for an “epic conclusion” to the concert, leaving audiences feeling as though they had “experienced something truly magical.”

[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]