This week for Off the Road, HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence welcomes our first return guest of the series, a sometime Hawaii resident, and an artist known around the world: Carlos Santana. Browse and listen to the entire series here. Subscribe to the latest episodes on Apple, Google and Spotify podcasts.
Carlos Santana and his wife, musician Cindy Blackman Santana, were among our first Off the Road guests last year, when they appeared in June 2020. Carlos Santana is an international music superstar, with a unique blend of rock, funk, Afro-Cuban, soul and psychedelia that has earned him fans and recognition on a global scale, going beyond borders, styles and trends for over fifty years of success. His guitar tone and technique have a legion of fans and devotees, and have inspired a wide range of other guitar luminaries, from Metallica’s Kirk Hammett to fusion legend Al Di Meola. This is the fifth interview between Carlos Santana and Dave Lawrence, almost thirty years since their first one in July 1992. Below we've posted links to hear all four of the previous conversations.
Carlos returns for a very special two day episode that will continue tomorrow. He’s recently released the first offerings from his Carlos Santana Coffee Company, which he’s using a portion of the proceeds from to support his nonprofit Milagro Foundation. In our segment today Carlos talks about some of the vulnerable people around the world, and in this country, he supports with his foundation, including helping to get fresh, clean water to residents of Native American reservations. He discusses how he’s trying to give back to the community on Kauai, where he often lives these days, and digs into his special connection with Hawaii. Carlos also explained how his connection to coffee goes all the way back to his roots in Mexico, and his mother.
Tomorrow we’ll conclude, and hear more about how Carlos has been moved to bring some of the positivity he finds in the state, Hawaii’s “rainbow power”, as he calls it, back to the mainland. He’ll also explore some of the long musical relationships he’s had, like with Earth, Wind and Fire, who he plans to tour with next summer, and shares memories of their first tour together back in 1975. His dates with Earth, Wind and Fire are now rescheduled to 2022. For this summer, he has dates at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, his first shows since the pandemic began, just announced and going on-sale.
Off the Road is a series of interviews with musicians remotely sharing how they’ve been touched by the pandemic and other crises, as well as discussing their latest projects and hearing some classic storytelling, including hours of conversation and many exclusive musical performances, speaking to artists across the musical spectrum, like Jack Johnson, Linda Ronstadt, System of a Down, Randy Brecker, Deep Purple, Jimmy Webb, Joe Satriani, Heart, William Shatner, Soul Asylum, The Doors, George Benson, 10,000 Maniacs, Herb Alpert and Al Di Meola.
See the video for Carlos and Cindy's cover of John Lennon's "Imagine", released in 2020:
Watch a professionally filmed Santana concert from Montreux, Switzerland in 2015: