Snowlive 2013: Music chose Salvador Santana | SierraSun.com

Snowlive 2013: Music chose Salvador Santana

Tim Parsonstparsons@tahoedailytribune.com
Courtesy photo Salvador Santana looks ahead - every day. The keyboardist-songwriter closes out Snowlive Saturday with a Red Room after-party.
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CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. – He’s not a Buddhist, but Salvador Santana casts a Zen-like glow.A 28-year-old keyboardist and songwriter, he said his goal is to improve each day by extending himself outside of his comfort zone.”As a musician, artist and even as a human being, just functioning in what we call life, I feel you need to grow and you need to push yourself always,” he said. “Of course, it’s important to be mindful of one’s limitations but, at the same time, impossible is only a state of mind.”The son of guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, Salvador Santana is not limited by genetics nor finances, but as a celebrity’s son he will always be scrutinized, juxtaposed and critiqued.”For me, I had to learn to just let go for the people who automatically think, ‘He’s Carlos Santana’s son, he must play guitar. Oh, you play keyboard? You need to play guitar.’ I just need to let go of that stuff,” he said. “People are going to think what they want to think and at the end of the day, I have no control of that.”When he was 10 years old, Salvador Santana’s musical tastes were typical of any suburban child. His father passed to him records by Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Salvador embraced both rock and rap. With his allowance money, the first records he bought were Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” and Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic.” He also was into Rage Against the Machine.”Hip-hop and rap have always been an influence,” he said. “Maybe it’s because of my generation. Maybe the area I grew up in, the Bay Area, and it being such a melting pot, not just culturally, but musically and artistically. There is so much going on there, again, you have to dabble in a little bit of everything.”He started playing drums at 3 and keyboards at 6. He studied at San Francisco’s School of the Arts and Valencia’s Cal Arts. He’s mostly lived in Southern California for the last 10 years.Santana has a solo album, “Keyboard City,” and two singles, “Into The Light” and “Mi Tesoro,” which will be on the next album. “Into The Light” also is a music video directed by Joseph Garner. His touring band which will appear at Tahoe is composed of Alex Nester, vocals and keyboards, Jared Meeker, guitar, Blake Collie, drums and Itai Shapira, bass.Santana says he is busy playing piano, writing poetry and songs and collaborating with other artists.”I am constantly working on everything that I possibly can,” he said. “You can’t be a one-trick pony nowadays and expect to make it. As long as I can be in that mindset: to not fear the unknown and just accept things for the way they are and where they are going and just keep working hard, I am in a good place and won’t be in a position to just settle and therefore be unprepared for a situation that I can’t predict.”Santana once aspired to be a veterinarian and he continues to volunteer support fundraisers for SPCAs and like-minded animal advocacy groups. He also was a standout football and basketball player but he eventually heeded the advice of hoops-loving Michael Franti that he might want to give up competitive sports to save his fingers for music.”My folks, and family and dear friends have always supported me to venture into other things,” Santana said. “Music has always been a part of my life so, I guess from that standpoint, it was inevitable. … No matter what I did I was always supported and encouraged to give it my 100 percent and be myself and have fun. At the end of the day, I think music chose me.”