Seven-piece Latin rock band Viva Santana will be celebrating the music of Carlos Santana at West Dean Gardens’ Chilli Fiesta (August 5-7).
With performances to their credit in the UK, continental Europe and Cuba, the band was created by inspirational Spanish guitarist Marcos Rodriguez (lead guitar and vocals). They will be on stage at Chilli Fiesta on Sunday at 2pm.
“The band has been going for 15 years,” says Marcos. “I learnt to play the guitar by listening to Santana records. It’s the only way I could play. 15 years ago, the tribute scene was just coming up, and really I wasn’t happy being a tribute band per se. I had to find a way of doing it that would make it creditable to my thinking.
“And I was thinking that really there are two Santanas, the Santana on record and the live Santana experience. Santana has sold more than a hundred million records, and everyone has heard the records, but not everyone has been lucky enough to see the band live. What we try to do is replicate that live experience, the arrangements of the songs, the guitar sound. Santana incorporates other people’s music into his own when he plays live. I have seen Santana more than 40 times since 1976. The live experience is totally different. If you hear Soul Sacrifice live, you might hear bits of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, and that’s completely different… and that’s the kind of thing we are trying to do.”
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