Hello from Latin Rock, Inc. I hope you're continuing to be healthy and safe in this new day. Apologies you have not heard from us in a while. As our business is music events we are at a standstill along with all public events. We wait to see where we go from here. More on that later.
Not much to report until today. As most of you have heard, Jorge Santana, original guitarist for Malo, and brother of Carlos Santana, passed away May 15th. A sudden and tremendous shock paralyzing the latin rock community and unbearable grief suffered by the Santana family.
In recent times we have grieved the loss of music artists, no less tragic or profound. The sudden unexpectedness of Jorge's passing, however, was extraordinary. We admired and enjoyed the music of other artists who have passed but the boundaries of their rock star status kept them at arm's length, unapproachable.
Jorge Santana stepped foot on some big stages throughout the world, first with Malo, later with his big brother. He was also up close at smaller venues. He was accessible. He was approachable. He was 'real', down to earth. Jorge not only made time to say hello but also engage in conversation. You cared about him and he cared about you. The first to arrive at a venue he greeted everyone along the way, never declining a handshake or a photo.
My last show of 2020 (so far) was March 6, a gig in Arizona with Momotombo SF, where Jorge would rejoin Leo Rosales and Gabe Manzo, playing Malo again. Riding in the van from the airport to the hotel Jorge took center court, explaining to anyone within earshot what he recently learned about the neck of the guitar. Not just anything about the neck of a guitar but how the frets are arced according to the radius of the neck. It was fascinating to hear him explain. Equally fascinating was his enthusiasm to share this discovery! Who would take time to explain this? Jorge would, my having stood by numerous other Jorge Santana conversations about amps, strings, guitars, and everything music related.
I met Jorge Santana when I managed Malo and we were able to convince Jorge to rejoin the band after the group regained steam issuing "Best of Malo" CD. The group that went away for an extended period was back and rolling. Working with Malo for over 25 years, I was routinely asked if Jorge was returning to Malo and if the group was ever going to perform "Everlasting Night'. By the early 1990's Jorge rejoined the group. No fanfare. No special treatment. He just wanted to be one of the guys. That was true but of course promoters loved the fact they could promote the group featuring 'Jorge Santana'. Once again, Malo fans around the world had Arcelio Garcia and Jorge Santana on stage together.
Jorge was not a permanent Malo fixture, performing on as many of their shows as possible. Going forward he formed a strong bond with Malo guitarist Gabe Manzo. No pressure, he just enjoyed being there.
Next to Santana who made it to the apex of Latin Rock right out of the gate, Malo the little brother, literally, took off in this new genre, making its mark alongside. Of no coincidence was that Malo featured a member of the Santana family on its rise of this new sound.
Jorge Santana was able to parlay his rising status with an appearance with the Fania All-Stars, crossing over into salsa to much acclaim. Regrouping with the Fania All-Stars recently with a concert tour that included Puerto Rico, Jorge spoke to me in great detail of the tour with tremendous enthusiasm and pride.
I was able to capture some statements from several longtime music family members and associates.
"My first memory of Jorge was when he and I met at a rehearsal session at Dave Rubinsons's office on Market Street in downtown San Francisco. I was in my early 20's , Jorge was in his late teens. We collaborated and wrote Malo's hit song, 'Café' right there on the spot. He and I along with Abel Zarrate, Pablo Telles and Malo members at the time, went on to write numerous hits for Malo including Pana, Nena and other fan favorites. I am very sad at Jorge's passing. During our youth we formed a brotherhood bond that continues to this day. I will miss Jorge and I send my condolences out to Jorge and the rest of the Santana Family.
Respectfully and with great admiration,
Arcelio Malo Garcia."
"It is with great sadness and compassion that we have lost another member of Latin Rock .... a forging voice and creative artist that carried on what thee original Santana band had started .... we will miss your smile and enthusiasm.... I always looked forward to jamming and playing with you on the Latin Rock Shows we did together.... May you Rest In Peace my brother..... who I will never forget ' it was always an honor to play music with you and to hang out and laugh .... my memories of you will be forever ' Love you much "
( original founding member of SANTANA)
"Jorge Santana, Thank you for being in my life, my friend, my brother. I will forever miss you. Rest In Peace."
Momotombo will always be grateful to you for the time you spent with us. You showed us so much about playing with heart, soul, and spirit. You taught us to just flow in the river of dreams and creativity. We love you deeply and will miss you deep into the future. Safe passage brother and friend. May the guardian angels of heaven guide you into the marvelous light of eternity. Go in peace.
From all of us at Momotombo SF and…you will always be our special guest "Jorge Santana".
"I was stunned to hear of the passing of my musical brother Jorge Santana, who I had the honor and the pleasure of sharing the stage with on many of our Latin Legends Tours. Jorge was a very talented and gentle soul with a reserved personality, but his music spoke volumes. We will truly miss brother Jorge, but his spirit will live on. Our sincere condolences go out to the entire Santana family."
"Our sincere condolences and prayers to the Santana Family
Listening to Jorge's composition 'Tierra En Gestación' a beautiful vision of Jorge's heart and passion of our earth giving birth to a Re-Evolution - a world where humankind co-exists without religions, borders or flags, without all the man made systems that offer only confusion and no exits. The earth is pregnant with a new world ----
That's exactly the world I had the honor of experiencing in 1974 when I was invited to become a part of a New Malo. A Malo that was ascending to new and exhilarating musical heights. It was in that atmospheric dynamic that I met Jorge Santana, a humble, sensitive, creative, thoughtful, generous of spirit and gifted musician. Our world is a lesser place without you, physically, but your passion, artistry and love lives on in every note, chord, lyric and video recorded. Looking forward to seeing you in the New Heaven"
Little Willie G.
"There are no words to really express the shock and sorrow I feel suddenly losing my long-time close friend and bandmate, Jorge Santana. He was more than a friend, he was truly a brother to me. It's hard for me to imagine not seeing him any more, or playing music together any more. I will always feel an empty space on stage and in my heart. We were together for so long. Jorge was a very deep thinker, and we had so many heavy talks together that I will always cherish. He really knew a lot, and never just scratched the surface. He was a true artist. Most of all, Jorge was one of the kindest people I've ever met. He touched so many lives, not the least of which is mine. I am a better man for knowing him and his kind heart, and I will miss him more than I can say. I pray for God's comfort to all Jorge's family, and to all those who love him as I do. With very heavy heart I say farewell, Jorge. Until we meet again, my brother. "
"We take time to celebrate the magnificent spirit of our beloved brother Jorge
He transitioned unto the realm of light that cast no shadow the eyes of my heart clearly see him right in between our glorious and magnificent mother Josefina and our father Jose... They are caressing his face and kissing his hands showering him with Light and Love We love cherish and honor your soul MEMO"
Carlos and the Santana Family
In closing, I never heard an unkind word spoken of Jorge Santana. He leaves behind an indelible mark on Latin Rock that will never fade. A lasting legacy of music, songs, and memories, but most of all, loving friendships with all those he touched, myself included.
Jorge Santana, RIP.
Special thanks to:
Dr. Annie Rodriguez
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at a show soon,
Dr. Bernardo D. Gonzalez III
LATIN ROCK, INC.
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Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you at a show soon, Dr. Rock & Latin Rock, Inc.