Carlos Santana will receive the 2021 Hispanic Heritage Legend Award during October PBS TV special

Carlos Santana is shown with Spanish-African vocal star Buika
Carlos Santana is shown in 2019 with Spanish-African vocal star Buika, who is featured on his album, “Africa Speaks.”
(Photo by Maryanne Bilham / Courtesy Jensen Communications)

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer will open his COVID-postponed 2020 concert tour in San Diego next June. His next album features Steve Winwood, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas


Carlos Santana, the pioneering Latin-rock guitarist who started his music career in Tijuana as a teenager before moving to San Francisco, has been selected to receive the 2021 Hispanic Heritage Legend Award.

The veteran band leader and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee will be honored as part of the Oct. 8 PBS TV broadcast of the 34th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards.

The telecast will include a multi-artist tribute to Santana, who will turn 73 on July 20. His career ignited after he and the percussion-driven band that bears his name performed at the 1969 Woodstock festival and were featured in the subsequent “Woodstock” film documentary and soundtrack album.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the mustachioed guitarist said: “With gratitude, I am deeply honored to be receiving the 2021 Hispanic Heritage Legend Award. I am grateful to the Latin community and to everyone who feels oneness with our mission to bring equality, fairness, justice, unity and harmony.

“We wake up every day to touch people’s hearts with our music, spirits-vision, and to make a difference in the world, for the highest good for life, people and the planet. It is a blessing to be a blessing. We thank the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and PBS for this glorious honor.”

Santana’s selection was in turn hailed on Wednesday by Hispanic Heritage Foundation President/CEO Jose Antonio Tijerino.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is thrilled to recognize Carlos Santana with the Legend Award,” Tijerino said in a statement.

“As we focus on diversity and inclusion, Carlos has been doing exactly that since he started his remarkable career by blending genres to create an alchemy of sound, spirit and energy since he started including rock, jazz, blues, Latin and African rhythms, among others. His approach to music is a model for how our country and world should unite. We are also excited to have an amazing group of artists pay tribute to Carlos through a compelling performance during the Hispanic Heritage Awards on PBS. We look forward to celebrating Latinx accomplishment, vision and culture with all of America as we honor Carlos and his remarkable presence.”

Santana and his band were scheduled to open their joint 2020 tour with Earth, Wind & Fire with a June 19 concert last year at Chula Vista’s North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre. Because of the COVID-19-fueled shutdown of live events, that show and the entire tour were pushed back twice — first to this June and now to next June.

Barring any other postponements, Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Miraculous Supernatural Tour” is slated to open June 17, 2022, at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre. On Aug. 25, Santana and his band will kick off their ninth year of shows in Las Vegas at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.

Also coming later this summer, or in the fall, is a new Santana album, “Blessing and Miracles.” It features an array of guest artists, including Steve Winwood, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, who was also part of Santana’s 1999 multiple-Grammy-winning album, “Supernatural.”