What You Didn’t Know about Carlos Santana

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Carlos Santana is a music legend. Born in Mexico, he became involved in music at a very young age. Growing up the son of a mariachi musician he learned to play the violin and the guitar. As a youth he was inspired by rock pioneer Ritchie Valens, who made rock’n’roll music with Spanish songs.

By the time Santana was in his teens his family moved to San Francisco. After deciding that school was not for him, he made a living during the hippie movement of the 1960s by busking and washing dishes. It was during this time he was exposed to other styles of music like folk and jazz. After seeing his musical idol B.B. King play live, Santana decided to no longer work for little to nothing and dedicate himself into becoming a musician.

His chance in the spotlight was serendipitous. When blues singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield was too drunk to perform at the famous rock venue Fillmore West, which he often went to watch shows, Santana’s manager was able to convince concert promoter Bill Graham that the guitarist should play. Suddenly, Santana was part of an impromptu group making music and no longer just a witness to great music.

Shortly afterwards, Santana created a group with fellow street musicians,  David Brown, Marcus Malone and Gregg Rolie. Starting off as the “Santana Blues Band” and then just “Santana,” the group was able to get a record deal riding off of the guitarist’s momentous debut at Fillmore West, a memorable performance at Woodstock and the new sound they were able to bring together from their different backgrounds.

In 1969 the world got to listen to the “Santana” album. It was a blend of African rhythms, blues, jazz, salsa and Latin-infused rock. The group produced the hit song “Evil Ways” and went on to have a triple-platinum album.

As the band released more albums throughout the drug-addled 1970s, the lineup changed and Santana was eventually the only original member of the group, as well as its star. However, he quickly became disenchanted with the rock’n’roll lifestyle and decided to seek spirituality within himself and his music.

While he remained with his band in the 80s, he also made his own music. In 1986 he released his first solo album, “Blues for Salvador,” which was a critical success and garnered him his first Grammy award for Best Instrumental Performance.

Santana would later tour extensively, and in the 1990s he had his own label, “Guts and Grace.” One of the first albums on the label was with his younger brother Jorge and nephew Carlos Hernandez, titled “Brothers.” This helped him achieve his second Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Performance.

While Santana continued to achieve critical praise mostly on his own, he never forgot how he started, with his band. He went back to basics by re-signing the band with its first producer, Clive Davis and in no time his 35th album, “Supernatural” put him and his group at the top of the music charts once again. The album sold over 10 million copies worldwide, earned the group nine Grammy nominations and they won eight, the ninth award went to the songwriter of the band’s hit song “Smooth.”

In the 2000s, Santana was a Lifetime Achievement recipient from the Billboard Latin Music Awards. In 2013 he was a Kennedy Center Honoree and in 2014 he released his first ever Spanish-language album, “Corazon.” On his 68th birthday, July 20th, 2015, Santana was announced to have won an American Book Award for his 2014 memoir, “Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light.”

Today he is performing in the United Kingdom and he will be bringing his tour back to the United States on August 14.

Fun Facts

  • The band “Santana” is the first group to name itself after a guitar player
  • Santana proposed to his second wife Cindy Blackman during a concert in Illinois
  • For the “Supernatural” album, Santana tied Michael Jackson for the most amount of wins in a single night
  • You can play as Santana on the video game “Guitar Hero 5
  • His grandfather and great-grandfather were musicians too

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Mexico is Still the Top Pick for US Vacationers

In the U.S., Americans’ perception of Mexico has reached a 10-year high, according to a recent Gallup, Inc. poll. The statistic further highlights the country’s record-breaking 2016 tourism year that saw more than 35 million international visitors – up 9% from the year prior – enjoying its world-class beaches and cultural offerings, according to the Mexico Tourism Board.

Credit for the country’s recent successes in tourism is largely due to the Mexican people – widely recognized as some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world, and their centuries-old spirit of hospitality. Mexico Tourism Board’s internal consumer tracking studies showed more than 94 percent of visitors reported an experience that “exceeded their expectations” and 86 percent said they would “like to come back again” in the next six months– some of the highest scores in the industry, attesting to the popular Mexican adage, ‘mi casa es su casa’ (my home is your home)

As the summer months approach and vacation planning starts, American families of all shapes and sizes seeking the perfect trip, can look no further than our neighbor to the south for one of the friendliest, most welcoming vacation experiences.

Here is a peek at other numbers that exemplify the warm nature of the country:

  • Mexico was awarded #1 country in the world for Family Travel and Puerto Vallarta as #2 destination in the world for LGBTQ travel by the global Travvy Awards
  • International Living named Mexico as the #1 retirement destination in 2017
  • For the third year in a row, Mexico was ranked as the friendliest and most welcoming country in the world by the John Mason survey of expatriates in 191 countries
  • San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Mexico, makes guests feel right at home and was named the 4th friendliest city in the world by Travel + Leisure
  • Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards” reader survey named five Mexican cities in its Top 10 Best Cities in Latin America rankings, including San Miguel de Allende (#1), Oaxaca (#3), Mexico City (#4), Merida (#5), and Guadalajara (#8)
  • National Geographic named Baja California as one of its top places to visit in 2017
  • The New York Times named Tijuana (#8) and Puerto Escondido (#32) in their 52 Places to Go in 2017. Mexico City was featured as the #1 place to visit in their 2016 list
  • “Halal Mexico” is a special program to help prepare airlines, hotels, restaurants and the wider Mexico tourism industry to cater to travelers from around the world that maintain a halal diet

For more information about Mexico go to visitmexico.com

CAGUAS WINS SERIE DEL CARIBE FOR PUERTO RICO

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The winter league champions which crown a yearly caribbean winner between the countries of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic was captured by the Puerto Rican club champion Criollos of Caguas.

The clinching win was secured 1-0 over Mexico’s Aquilas de Mexicali. Adalberto Flores was the hero going into the seventh inning without giving up a single hit. But the game was tied and with the Mexican team getting the support of the home fans as Mexico hosted this year at the Tomateros de Culiacan stadium the odds were stacked.

The extra-inning affair was won by Caguas in the 10th with Jonathan Morales sac fly scoring Yadiel Rivera, who had doubled and moved to third on a sac bunt. It was quite a comeback as Caguas started 1-3 in the opening round.

“This is incredible. The biggest moment of my life,” Morales said, “Sixteen years ago, I was a kid with no clue of what I wanted to do for a living, This is unreal.”

Morales was referring to the last time Puerto Rico won the Caribbean Series. It was 2000 when Santurce won the honors. For Caguas, this is their fourth championship and first since 1987.

NFL REUNITES FAMILIES ON A MONDAY NIGHT IN MEXICO

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Photos: Courtesy NFL

In the heart of Mexico City, the National Football League brought it’s show across the Rio Grande to showcase the first Monday Night Football game to take place outside of the United States. The Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans were the two teams chosen to play at Azteca Stadium, a place better known for the football played with the foot though the NFL had played there in 2005. But in the ultimate gesture of goodwill, the NFL billed it as “Families of Futbol.”

On this historical night in the capital of Mexico, we learned why. The NFL provided a surprise that did more to show the humanity of not just a professional league but a country that shares a common border. During this evening the NFL not only brought families based in the United States to their first game but reunited them with family members in Mexico where they would all be able to share the experience together.

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Ximena Alvarez’ family was a case in point. She and her family were brought in to watch the Raiders and the reunion was a perfect celebratory mesh of American Football and Mexican culture for a week where the NFL crossed borders and united families. A double win for the NFL.

Aarón Sánchez : No Longer in his Mother’s Shadow

Photo by Naeisha Rose

Photos by Naeisha Rose

Chef Aarón Sánchez, of “Iron Chef” fame, may be one of the most celebrated Mexican-American culinary experts around the world, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that he decided to make dishes celebrating his Mexican roots.

Like many cooks, the Iron Chef’s love for cooking came from his family.

“My story is not so strange from many Latin families,” says Sánchez. “I grew up in a household where food is central. That is the way we commune,” says Sánchez.

Guests anticipating third course.

Guests anticipating the third course.

As a child, Sánchez’s family lived off the land and spent time taking care of animals on the isolated parts of Chihuahua, Mexico, and cooking became the pastime for his family.

“I had three aunts and they rode horses every day and they took care of cattle and my grandmother would cook. That is where the love of cooking was born, with my mom and my aunts,” says the television personality.

For the budding food connoisseur, home life in Chihuahua didn’t always remain idyllic, but things did change for the better.

As I grew up we moved from Mexico to Texas and I really started to grasp how important food was for us as a family. My mom became a caterer and social worker, divorced my daddy when I was three and took me and my twin brother in the catering van to El Paso. With just an opportunity and a job, she ended up becoming the most recognized Mexican chef in the country, all through hard work and recreating the food she grew up eating as a child.”

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Despite being inspired by his mom, Zarela Martinez, as she transitioned from a caterer to a chef and then restaurateur of the famous Café Marimba in New York, Sánchez knew he had to fly the coup to seek out his own path in the food world.

As a young man, I felt the absolute need to separate myself from my mom’s shadow. That is why I started to embrace other Latin foods like Peruvian, South American, and Caribbean dishes. That became a lot of my focus so I could establish my own identity culinarily. I remember that being an early motivation early on in my career, and that is why I worked in the kitchen at Patria with Douglas Rodriguez right here in New York. It was the first Latin restaurant to ever get three stars and I was a part of that.”

After traveling throughout the United States and abroad Sánchez felt that he was finally ready to make food from his home country of Mexico.

“I guess when I moved to New Orleans a year ago…and studied enough, I felt it suffice for me to tackle Mexican food as a genre. I didn’t want to tackle that food unless I was prepared, and now that I’m in my 40s I felt like it was time,” says Sánchez.

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As a chef, trying out new and different ingredients to put a spin on an old recipe have been one of Sánchez’s favorite things to do, and that is why his collaboration with Grapes from California, a community of grape growers, remains a fruitful one.

This is the second year that Grapes from California worked with chef Aarón. It is always our mission that we find chefs that not only have a passion for cooking but a passion for grapes. It’s very evident whenever we work with chef Aarón, that it is more than just a dish that he is creating, he is creating a meal,” says Jeff Klitz, a representative with the California Table Grape Commission.

Jeff Klitz, California Table Grape Commission

Jeff Klitz, California Table Grape Commission

It is not only Sánchez’s mission to make great meals but to use food picked according to proper labor laws.

“As parents, we always struggle to find fresh food in the cold months…Grapes from California are actually available from May to January,” says Sánchez. “I’ve seen how these grapes are grown and the practices behind how they are harvested, which is important to me, so they are just doing it the right way, you know,” he adds.

In Soho, Chef Sánchez made scallop ceviche with red grapes, Yucatan-styled red snapper with green grapes and grilled quail with black grapes for guests.

Ceviche and Red Snapper

 

“He is finding nuances with every ingredient. It is a great pairing because Grapes from California are very versatile and you can use them as snacks, in salads, in meals, but he finds ways that we haven’t even thought of because he is chef Aarón,” says Klitz.

When asked which meal was his favorite, Klitz responded, “that’s like what do you like better, winning the lottery or having immortality.”

To get the recipes to Chef Sánchez’s three meals you can go to www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.

MEXICO DRAWS WITH GERMANY IN SOCCER OLYMPIC OPENER

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The men’s Mexican National team is the defending men’s soccer champion on this level. They won the Gold Medal in 2012 in London and as has been the tradition, they opened up the competition against Germany, the current FIFA World Cup champions in the 2016 Rio Olympics opener.

The two battled to a worthy draw in their group opener. In the 74th minute, MLS winger, Erick “Cubo” Torres, from the Houston Dynamo made his Olympic debut nearly assisting on a goal that woukd have clinched matters.

But Germany rallied for the second time showing it’s traditional grit in equalizing four minutes after Torres arrival. Mexico are currently enjoying an eight game unbeaten run at the Olympics.

With the Olympics in Rio, Brazil this year, soccer will be one of the showcase events in this futbol-mad nation. Germany takes their single point into their next match against South Korea, who routed Fiji 8-0 in their opener. Mexico, also a point in the red, plays minnow Fiji.

BECKY G IS A POWER RANGER

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The reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise is upon us. Making the cut is a singer of Mexican descent who literally launched her music from a garage. Meet Becky G.

Rebecca Marie Gomez, a winner of Radio Disney and Premios Juventud awards for her song, “Shower” will be playing Power Ranger, Trini. It’s the culmination of an entertainment career built from necessity.

Rebecca, at nine, suffered a serious setback when financial problems caused her parents to sell their home and move into the garage of her grandparents. However Rebecca stepped up to contribute by using her talents to land voice-over and commercial jobs.

This would lead her to utilize social channels like You Tube and participation with girl groups such as G.L.A.M to ignite a singing career that shot her into the spotlight with a 2015 Artist of the Year nomination at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

check out her youtube video with over 12o Million views!

 

Now, Gomez with the momentum of a career best role in Power Rangers to go with her first ever Latin single, “Sola” released this past June, everyone now knows who is behind the mask. It’s Becky G. So this Power Ranger on screen and in life has proven that being a go-getter has it’s own rewards.

SHOBOY IN THE MORNING – The Latin touch that was missing in New York morning radio

Originally published in the May 2016 of Latin Trends Magazine

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Totally happy in his new city, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo wanders through the streets of New York as if he has lived here all his life. It is hard to imagine that, just a year ago, this popular radio personality was the host of one of the most popular radio shows in Dallas, TX, “Shoboy en la Mañana”.

He tells us about the afternoon he received the call that would change his destiny; a proposal to have his own radio show in English in one of the most important markets in the world.

“When I was asked to do the show, I almost fell backwards. It was amazing. It was something I wanted to do for some time, especially in the number #1 market in New York. At first, it was a difficult decision because my show in Spanish in Dallas was about to be syndicated nationally. My wife and I were happy in Texas, but we came to this city because we base our decisions on faith, not fear,” he says.

But Sotelo’s success is no surprise. This young man grew up at radio stations with his popular brother, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, one of most the renowned radio announcers in Spanish radio. He worked in promotions, pasting stickers and helping in everything that was needed at the station.

Despite being born in Jalisco, Mexico, and arriving to the United States when he was five years old, Shoboy speaks English and Spanish with such perfection and professionalism that he is able to brilliantly connect with his listeners in both languages.

“Shoboy In The Morning” is a new radio show that entertains and informs his English-speaking listeners, but of course, he always adds his Latin spark and throws and occasional word in Spanish. The audience that tunes into 92.3 AMP Radio from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. in New York City is already used to hearing phrases like “que rico” and other common words in “Spanglish”.
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Sotelo is fun, casual and sometimes a little crazy, and his listeners adore him because he is able to make his guests play all his games, such as convincing Justin Bieber and Chris Brown to dance the famous merengue “Culiquitaca”. Laughing out loud, he tell us:

“I told Justin and Chris that they would increase their potential to get Latina girlfriends if they learned how to move their hips.”

Despite having received major awards for his radio career-raising over a million dollars to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and being invited to the White House by President Obama, Shoboy is a young man that reflects great humility, passion and a genuine desire to proudly represent Latinos.

His greatest goal is to positively impact the community. When asked how he see himself in the future, he stares at us and answers with a big smile.

“I see myself with more wrinkles from laughing so hard and thanking God for all the beautiful blessings he brings to my life.”

Here’s the Links to some of Shoboy’s most popular youtube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_mS5mS7cDQhttp://

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dv9KNXyN70://

YAIR RODRIGUEZ AIRS OUT ANDRE FILI AT UFC 197

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What we saw last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which has become the home of the UFC, is the future of mixed martial arts. On the undercard of UFC 197 was the crossing of two featherweight boats in the night. One, Andre Fili, was sunk. The other, Mexican unbeaten, Yair Rodríguez, arrived in port with a great story to tell.

Yair, from Parral, Mexico, is a 23 year old who put himself on the map by winning The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America in 2014 under Head Coach, Cain Velasquez.

Yair is a lot like the new generation of kids who grow up playing realistic video games in which they experiment with moves that usually can’t be tried in reality.

Yair has changed all that. He currently has the third longest winning streak in UFC and has not only a good ground game but uses his long, powerful legs and unique agility to win in the air. He scored a flying knee that Edgar Juarez still doesn’t recall and last night he took out a very experienced Samoan 25-year old in Fili known as “Fury.”

“I knew it was going to be a hard fight for me,”

Rodríguez admitted,

“But I don’t care. I’m here to fight the best guys in the world.”

But it was Yair that put out the flames in round two. Rodriguez tried a scissors kick that had just missed and his quickness was definitely something Fili had difficulty coping with.

“I saw when I closed his eye with a punch,”

Yair explained the ending,

“He was trying to step back and I could tell he couldn’t see so I just tried to do that switch-kick.”

Then it came. Yair lifted up in mid-air with his right leg bent and while still in the same motion kicked Fili with his left foot caving in the side of his head and flooring him out with no count necessary. It was the Karate Kid Crane Kick with a modern touch.

Indeed, Yair is a living video game come to life. But one to watch not only for his spectacular air attacks, but his rapid ground game and floor kicks which showed his ability to attack with a variety of techniques. UFC Featherweights are now on notice.

“They are trying to put someone up, and I want to be that guy,”

Yair responded to the question of his future.

Historic Moments for Mexico & Chile at the Oscars

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Latino filmmakers were able to shine at the 88th Academy Awards with nine nominations. Sadly, it was during a boycott where their onscreen compadres and other people of color were locked out this year from the acting categories, resulting in the #OscarsSoWhite controversy for the second time in a row.

Glimmers of hope for diversity in this year’s Oscars race came mostly in the form of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose film The Revenant, which has Native American actors, received an astounding 12 nominations. Some of the movie’s nominations included Best Sound Mixing: Frank A. Montaño, Best Sound Editing: Martin Hernández, Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Best Director: Iñárritu and the most prestigious award, Best Picture.

The other Latin films and nominees last night were Alê Abreu for O Menino e o Mundo (Boy and the World) for Animated Feature Film along with California-born Jonas Rivera for Inside Out. Representing Chile for Best Animated Short Film with Bear Story is Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala. Colombia’s El Abrazo de la Serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent) was up for Best Foreign Language film. Cartel Land was up for Best Documentary as a U.S. and Mexico co-production, but none of the Mexican producers had a nomination.

Despite The Revenant winning for only three out of the 12 nominations, the triumphs were historic and memorable. Iñárritu won his fourth Oscar and highlighted his desire for a colorblind world in his speech.

There is a line in the film that [Glass says] to his mixed-race son, ‘They don’t listen to you, they just see the color of your skin,” saidIñárritu. “So what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and, you know, this tribal thinking, and make sure for once and forever that the color of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”

He is now the third director in 65 years to have back-to-back wins and the first non-white to have done so. For the third year in a row, a Mexican director has won best director. In 2014, Alfonso Cuarón won for Gravity starring Sandra Bullock. In a career spanning 16 years, all of his six films have been nominated for an Oscar.

The other major victors were The Revenant star Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor and Lubezki for Best Cinematography.

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For DiCaprio, it was a fantastic night. The actor has worked the Hollywood circuit for 25 years and his nomination for the portrayal of the frontiersman, Hugh Glass, was his sixth. Last night he was finally a winner, and he used his speech to raise awareness about climate change and the mistreatment of Native Americans.

Climate change is real, and it’s happening right now,” said DiCaprio. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world…and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”

Lubezki, who is Mexican, is the first cinematographer of any nationality to have three consecutive wins in this category. It was his second time teaming up with Iñárritu, and he previously worked on Gravity with Cuarón.

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Rivera won Best Animated Feature for Inside Out beating out the other Latin nominee Abreu for O Menino e o Mundo (Boy and the World). Chile took home its first-ever golden statue for the animated feature film Bear Story, which was produced by Escala and written/directed by Osorio. Osorio said his grandfather inspired the 10-minute short.

Bear Story is “a very Latin American movie but with a universal feeling,” said Osorio, “I tried to tell the importance of a family being together. … The message is that we must try not to make the same mistakes of the past.”

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