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Featured Article

Global Music Icon Shares Thoughts as a World Citizen

Q&A with Carlos Santana

Ten-time Grammy Award winner, three-time Latin Grammy Award winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with his namesake band, and Las Vegas resident; yes, you heard us, your neighbor is American guitarist Carlos Santana, the man who pioneered Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion and has since spent more than four decades echoing one of the world’s best-known musical sounds.

While he has sold more than 100 million records and performed for more than 100 million fans across the globe, Carlos Santana’s impact doesn’t end there. His lifelong passion for humanitarian outreach and social activism illustrates his big heart and compassion as a world citizen.

In 1998, Carlos Santana and his family established The Milagro Foundation to help under-resourced children around the world. The Foundation’s name was inspired by the word ‘Milagro’ — which means miracle in Spanish — and by the image of a child being a divine miracle of light and hope. The organization has granted more than $8 million to non-profit organizations in the areas of arts, education, and health.

Read on to hear directly from your westside neighbor Carlos Santana as he shares his local insights, charitable endeavors, and multi-year residency at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas.

 

When did you plant roots in Las Vegas?

We first planted the seeds to make Las Vegas our home in 2009, when we started our first residency here. We are now fully immersed in the Las Vegas community and love spending our time here.

 

What is your favorite thing about Vegas?

For me, it’s the people. The local Vegas community is vibrant and thriving with arts and a growing culture. Also, living and playing in Las Vegas allows me to touch the four corners of the globe from my backyard. Even though we still tour, I get to meet people from all over the world who come to Las Vegas and come to our shows. It is an amazing destination.

 

What do you like about the community here?

People here care about one another and try and make a difference to help those in need. People at Three Square Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Las Vegas Rescue Mission, and the countless educational programs that uplift the Las Vegas youth. It brings me great pride and joy to take part in all of these.

 

What inspired you to start the Milagro Foundation?

Ever since the beginning, we have been supporters of life, people, and the planet. Back in the 60s, we used to do free shows for The Haight Street Clinic, Black Panthers, and so many others. The requests for us to play benefits and support people in need was something we took seriously and decided to really focus our energy where it matters most, the children. So, we focus on giving underserved children access to healthcare, educational services, and the arts.

 

What are your proudest accomplishments that you’ve made through the Milagro Foundation?

It is a blessing to be a blessing and have the means to really make a difference in someone’s life. What we do through the Milagro Foundation makes everything else we do worthwhile. When my feet hit the ground each day, I know we are making a positive difference in someone else’s life. There have been times when a teenager or stranger on the street has come up to me and said, “Mr. Santana — thanks to you, I am the first person in my family to go to college.” There is no greater joy in life than knowing that we are part of shaping their lives for the better.

 

How have you and your Foundation contributed locally?

Yes, in addition to a few of our partners I mentioned earlier — Three Square Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and the Las Vegas Rescue Mission — we have supported Andre Agassi’s school, Spread the Word Nevada, Project 150, and many others.

 

Does the Milagro Foundation have any upcoming local fundraising events that the community can support?

Ticket sales at The House of Blues help support the Milagro Foundation as well as the House of Blues Foundation.

 

What has your House of Blues residency experience been like?

We love House of Blues. It allows us to connect with friends and fans from all over the world without having to leave my home. House of Blues has become our living room, where we can try new things and make the familiar seem new. We, of course, play all of your favorite songs, but being in the same place allows us freedom in the setlist to try different songs and textures and create the next masterpiece of joy.

 

What is something you hope your audiences will take away from your shows?

That you are significant, meaningful, and can make a difference in the world.

 

What was your biggest influence behind your most recent album, “Blessings and Miracles”?

Just be open and let the music and collaborations evolve naturally.

 

Anything else you’d like us to know?

Once you perceive that you’re a beam of light that comes from God, you can live from love, not fear. All there is to life is love and fear. We have to live from love, not fear.

“All there is to life is love and fear. We have to live from love, not fear.”

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