Guitar god in India! Carlos Santana is in the Capital to perform at Formula One Rocks concert

Carlos Santana

“My inner voice told me to ask her if she would be my queen. A lot of people were there so she couldn’t say no,” said guitar legend Carlos Santana about the way he proposed to his band’s drummer Cindy Blackman at their concert in Chicago two years ago, eliciting a roar of laughter from the audience at a press conference held at ITC Maurya Sheraton on Saturday.

The 10-time Grammy Award winning guitarist, who is on his maiden trip to India, will be playing live at Galgotias University in Greater Noida on Sunday. His will be the headlining act for the F1 Rocks with Vladivar concert that will be held after the Formula One race.

“It’s a great honour and joy for us to be here. To come to India is to connect to something spiritual.

Mick Jagger used to say, ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’ and I don’t know if he got satisfaction, but I have. I get satisfaction because I learnt to meditate and discipline my mind,” said Santana, who is a disciple of the Bengali-American spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy.

The guitar virtuoso was also given the name Devadip, meaning ‘The lamp, light and eye of God’, by the spiritual guru in 1973.

A hippie at heart, Santana gained prominence with his eponymous band in the late 60s and also performed at the famous Woodstock festival in 1969.

He continues to follow the ideals of that era.

“In those times, we believed that world peace could be possible, we believed in the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa,” said the Mexican-American guitarist.

Closer home, Santana, who performed in Bangalore on Friday, can’t stop gushing about Indian food, going so far as to say that there should be a separate channel showcasing only Indian cuisine.

Cindy, who has also worked with American singer Lenny Kravitz, said, “We loved having masala dosas and lassis in Bangalore.

His favourite was the mango lassi.” Santana’s latest album, Shape Shifter, is the first from his new label Starfish Records and was released in May this year.

“Native Americans believe that you can re-arrange molecular structure, that you can grow from a fish to a coyote and to an eagle.

Essentially, Shape Shifter means not to be afraid. It is about learning to get out of your own way to believe that nothing is impossible,” he said.

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