Biographies of San Francisco Musicians

San Francisco
Latin Jazz, Mambo
The son of Swedish Vaudeville performers, Callen Radcliffe Tjader became an accomplished tap dancer, drummer and pianist as a child. In 1946 after serving in the war as an Army medic, he enrolled to study music at San...
San Francisco
Latin Rock
José Santana taught his son Carlos to play the violin at age five and the two performed together in a mariachi in Tijuana before emmigrating to San Francisco in the early 1960s. As a teenager at Mission High School, it...
San Francisco
Protest & Political
Joan Baez was born of Mexican, English, and Scottish heritage in Staten Island, New York, in 1941. Because her father was a physicist, her family moved often during her childhood, living in various places around the United...
San Francisco
Conjunto, Corrido, Merengue
A family band who immigrated from Sinaloa, Mexico, to San Jose, California, in 1968, Los Tigres del Norte are famous for story-telling corridos that give voice to the Mexican immigrant experience. Led by singer and accordionist...
San Francisco
Latin Rock
Though overshadowed by the national success of Santana, the band Malo had a strong following in the Bay Area, where they helped shape the Latin rock scene. Their 1972 ballad, Suavecito, co-written and sung by Richard...
San Francisco
Latin Jazz, Latin Rock
Mike Carabello’s grandparents were among the earliest Puerto Ricans to settle in San Francisco’s Mission District. He grew up hearing lots of music and drumming in their home. As a teenager, he played baseball and...