Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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If someone were to ask a popular musical artist what the modern musical world would be like without Carlos Santana, they would probably not know how to answer. In fact, the artist would probably say that Santana has influenced him in some way. Santana has positively influenced and shaped America's music and affected the people that listen to the music, expanding their musical culture and variety, due to Santana's own influences. The reason for this is that Santana has been influenced and exposed to many different styles of music.

He began his career in Autlan de Vanarro, Mexico, where he first started learning how to play his guitar, at the age of 8. His father was an accomplished professional violinist and he taught Carlos musical theory, technique, and motivated him to pursue a musical career. His style of teaching was classical, since he played the violin and was accustomed to the classical style of music.

This was Santana's first influence; a first of many ("Carlos Santana" A&E Biography 1).

When Carlos moved to Tijuana during his teen years, he got exposed to many new influences. One of them was his idol, the King, Elvis Presley. The jazzy cowboy was also another example of a well-rounded musician. In Elvis' music you can find traces of jazz, rock, classical, country, blues, and folk. This wonderful musical mixture inspired Carlos, and soon he began performing in local clubs, driven by American blues artists such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Little Richard (Leng 25).

When he moved to San Francisco, he was introduced to even more musical genres including jazz and international folk music. After a period of playing for spare change on the streets, Santana decided to become a full time musician. In 1966, he started the Santana Blues Band, with...