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Salvador Santana is a chip off the ol' rock block
Salvador Santana cherishes any opportunity to play music with his father, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana.
But this year it's better than he ever imagined.
The younger Santana, 32, a keyboardist and recording artist in his own right, is on the road with the Santana band this year -- not as an opening act but as a featured guest for a different kind of father-son bonding and a valuable chance to promote his latest album, "Fantasy Reality."
"I was approached by my father a couple of months ago. He knew I'd been working on a new album and getting ready to release it, and he said, 'I would love for you to come out and tour on the road with me, and we can play together and perform and why not?'" Santana recalls. "I was like, 'Are you kidding?! You say when and I'm there,' and that's how all that happened."
Carlos Santana, not surprisingly, speaks with paternal pride about looking to his right and seeing Salvador playing alongside him.
"I wanted to extend an invitation to help people know more about his music," the guitar legend explains. "I decided that instead of bringing a whole band for him, which is very expensive, I said, 'Why don't you just bring yourself and your singer and my band will learn your songs and we'll back you up?' The whole thing about music is never to compete or compare but to complement. And to be able to do that with my son is a great gift, you know."
Salvador is certainly used to being in the Santana orbit -- and not just with his father. His mother, Deborah Santana, is a poet, author and activist, while both of his grandfathers are celebrated musicians. But he acknowledges a bit of initial apprehension after he agreed to join the tour.
"I had to sit with it and digest it for a second 'cause it was a new idea, even for me," he explains. "The more I thought about it, the more I got really excited and the more I saw great opportunities and things I could get out of a situation like that. So I didn't hesitate to call back and say 'I'm in 150 percent.'
"It's interesting to have my dad coming to me asking what songs I want him and his band to learn. The roles are temporarily switched. It was pretty cool to be approached like that."
Santana is hoping that the tour will indeed open new ears to his music and to "Fantasy Reality," his third release, in particular. "I felt like I learned a lot with this album," he says, "especially about having patience. You can't rush anything; you have to know what you want but let things unfold and kind of embrace the moment." And he's confident the Santana band will be doing justice to his material throughout the tour.
"I've only heard myself and my own band play my music -- not that I'm biased, but this is different," Santana says. "it's Santana playing Santana, but not the way most people would think of that -- or that we would think of that before doing this, either. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Santana with Salvador Santana
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.
Tickets are $39.50-$125 pavilion, $25 lawn with a $75 lawn four-pack.
Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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