The Sabor Blog

News, Events & Stories from the Latino Community across the U.S.

Bill Graham and Santana at Woodstock

Fresh to the San Francisco music scene—playing a combination of bluesy electric guitar, Latin percussion and organ—Carlos Santana rose to the national music stage through his performance at Woodstock, thanks to Bill Graham. Graham agreed to help recruit performers for Woodstock under the condition that Santana, a little known band at the time, perform at the show. He then booked Santana on a tour of musical festivals with incremental audiences to prepare the band for the overwhelming crowds at Woodstock, since before this Santana had only performed for small audiences on the West Coast.

Next week, American Sabor will open at the San Francisco Public Library, where visitors can hear Santana’s account of Woodstock and also participate in the many community and education programs planned to help people experience the music highlighted in American Sabor. East Coasters can see the larger exhibit hosted by the Smithsonian Latino Center at the Ripley Center’s International Gallery on the National Mall through October 9, 2011.



I am from La Mission in San

I am from La Mission in San Fran where Santana got their start. There's something I would like to add here that very few people know. At that time in La Mission, there was a dress code. One was either a "mun" or a "white-shoe". A mun dressed in leather jackets, wore his hair in a pompadour and had side-burns. A white-shoe wore shirts with heavy starch, an open vest, jeans and desert boots. Both muns and white-shoes were enemies and never associated with one another. Jose "Chepito" Areas was a mun. Michael Carabello was a white-shoe. If you look at the back of Santana's first album, you can see Chepito with his pompadour and side-burns. You can also see Michael Carabello wearing a shirt with heavy starch and an open vest. Music brought those two together. Rudy Ramirez Ethnic Studies Professor, College of San Mateo