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The Colorful Life of Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez (September 4, 2018)
JB  SAN
Born in Jalisco, Mexico, Carlos Santana grew up worshipping his father, a mariachi musician who taught his son to play the violin and encouraged him to follow in his footsteps. However, the future icon grew to resent the music that took his father away from the family for months at a time. After a family move to Tijuana, young Santana heard rhythm and blues on the radio and it became a siren song to him, a call to play the electric guitar and fuse this music with the traditions that he learned as a child. While the text tells a fairly straightforward and detailed account of Santana's life, it is the artwork (created by the same artist who did cover art for Santana's Shaman album) that is full of vivid, flowing colors that shine as it captures the soul of Santana and his work.

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin, illustrated by José Ramirez (September 4, 2018)
JB  SAN
From the three-way scrimmage among his great-aunt, his father, and his mother for the right to name him—his mother won—to his growth as a musician, Carlos yearns to hear the song of angels.Instrument after instrument fails to resonate within his heart until the chords of a guitar stand his arm hairs on end. "An angel's breath?" But not even his beloved guitar can drown out the English-speaking bullies in San Francisco schools, so he runs away and returns to Tijuana. His family, however disagrees. They'd left Mexico for a better life, and they will not let Carlos stay behind. Bit by bit, the city's diverse cultural harmonies become one: "the soul of the blues,…the brains of jazz,…the energy of rock and roll…the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music you'd grown up with." The Santana Blues Band plays through Carlos' homesickness, plays through Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, plays through Vietnam's destruction and America's unrest, until, in front of 400,000 people in Woodstock, the angels finally sing—not to but within Carlos. Ramírez's double-page-spread acrylic-and-enamel-marker images evoke the vibrant electric energy of Huichol yarn art.

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