Carlos Santana and the Santana Band will perform the last of their trio of extraordinary all-star concerts at the 40th annual presentation of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland on Wednesday, July 12. Titled "Santana!," Carlos and the Santana Band will be joined onstage by jazz icon Herbie Hancock, contemporary R&B star Beverley Knight, horn-driven greats Tower of Power, alt-star Eagle-Eye Cherry, multi-lingual rocker Draco and more. It is scheduled to take place at the Auditorium Stravinksi, the largest of the Festival's three halls.
"Santana!" is the third and final of the themed shows that Carlos Santana conceived for this year's Festival, all featuring an array of internationally renowned guest artists, and all paying tribute to the global musical influences -- African, Cuban, Brazilian and more -- that have shaped and inspired Santana's artistic legacy and made them one of the world's most popular and enduring groups.
"Everyone should know by now," Carlos said recently, "that my first love in music has to do with African overtones, resonance, rhythm and melodies. I made a request to Mr. Claude Nobs, the gentleman who founded the Montreux Festival, for an African night. We invited a lot of friends to play with us, and selected songs that we could do together, as well as ones that they would typically do in their own sets. I feel blessed to be doing what turned into three shows with some of the greatest musicians on the planet at a Festival that is truly the mother of all concerts -- every person is treated like royalty, it is win-win for everyone concerned."
The first of the two shows already presented to great acclaim was "Dance To The Beat Of My Drum" on July 9, showcasing many of African music's biggest names including Benin-born/Paris-based vocalist Angélique Kidjo, Senegalese stars Ismael Lo, Idrissa Diop and Touré Kunda (who performed Africa Bamba on Santana's Supernatural album) and Guinean-born master Mory Kanté. Taking the spotlight with Santana for July 10th's "My Blues Is Deep" event were music greats including soul/blues diva Irma Thomas, blues icon Taj Mahal, Malian Touareg phenomenon Tinariwen and New Orleans legends The Neville Brothers.
The first Montreux Jazz Festival took place in 1967, lasting three days and presenting a handful of artists. 2006's two-week event -- marking the Festival's 40th anniversary and celebrated founder Claude Nobs' 70th birthday -- spotlights over 100 artists and draws upwards of 200,000 fans from around the world. The first of Santana's many performances at Montreux was in 1970. Prior to 2006, their most recent Festival show was in 2004, when Carlos Santana presented, in conjunction with Nobs, "Hymns: An Evening Of Songs For Peace," a guest star-studded gala (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ravi Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Angelique Kidjo and others) that inspired this year's three themed concerts.
"We played One Love,Imagine,'Blowing In The Wind -- the new hymns," said Carlos. "It made you stand up, it made you cry, and dance, and laugh... it's real music. It has to do with witnessing something being born, with pain and emotion. When you see a baby being born, and come into the light, you realize that is the only way to participate in this planet, and that is the only music I like to play -- music that is raw, that is honest, that is divine."
That Santana tradition of real music lives on through their three Montreux Jazz Festival concerts this week, and throughout the remainder of their 2006 World Tour. Following Santana's Montreux events, the band will play two weeks worth of dates in Italy and Japan before heading Stateside for an extensive nationwide itinerary.
Santana's domestic dates kick off on the West coast beginning July 27 in San Diego, CA at Viejas Concerts at Bayside. The Western U.S. schedule also features shows in Phoenix, AZ (7/27) and Las Vegas, NV (7/29) in addition to concerts spanning the length of California, concluding August 6 at the Sacramento Valley's Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville. Neo-soul star Anthony Hamilton, featured on the memorable track Twisted from the new Santana album All That I Am, is the opening act for all West coast dates. The East coast leg of Santana's 2006 World Tour launches with a special September 15 concert at Mansfield, MA's Tweeter Center that features guitar legend Jeff Beck as the bill's opener. All other East coast dates feature the Salvador Santana Band opening and Los Lonely Boys as the second act, with highlights including September 16 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY, September 23-24 at the Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center, and September 28 at the Sound Advice Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, FL.
Following the conclusion of Santana's 2006 World Tour, Carlos Santana will travel to South Africa for Desmond Tutu's 75th birthday celebration, after which he will take a break. "I'm going to stop for a year or so," says Carlos, adding, "it will feel really good to let go of this Santana guy for awhile and become a person instead of a personality -- to become 'daddy husband.' Domestic rhythm is really glorious, I recommend it to most musicians, so that they know how to keep the rhythm that way as well."
SANTANA 2006 WORLD TOUR DATES
JULY - EUROPE & JAPAN
July 12 "Santana!" - Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
July 14 Lucca, Italy (w/opener John Mayer)
July 15 Naples, Italy (w/opener Robert Plant)
July 17 Perugia, Italy
July 18 Udine, Italy
July 22 Shizuoka, Japan
July 23 Osaka, Japan
JULY & AUGUST - WEST COAST U.S. featuring Anthony Hamilton as opener
July 27 - San Diego, CA - Viejas Concerts at Bayside
July 28 - Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Pavilion
July 29 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
July 31 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Amphitheater
Aug 1 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug 2 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug 4 - Concord, CA - Chronicle Pavilion
Aug 5 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
Aug 6 - Marysville, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
SEPTEMBER - EAST COAST U.S. featuring Salvador Santana Band opening and Los Lonely Boys as second act (except for 9/15 with special guest Jeff Beck):
Sept 15 - Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center – featuring Jeff Beck opening
Sept 16 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Sept 17 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
Sept 20 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
Sept 22 - Wallingford, CT - Chevrolet Theater
Sept 23 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center
Sept 24 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center
Sept 26 - Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
Sept 28 - West Palm Beach, FL - Sound Advice Amphitheater
Sept 29 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
Sept 30 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre