Carlos Santana makes a fantastic journey into the past in his rock music in House of Blues. But this is not a show of pure nostalgia.
The rock legend has fresh music planned for his next series. You just have to wait for it.
“I’m very excited to present new music, we have five new songs we’re working on and I love the way the band plays them,” Santana said in an interview Tuesday at his Henderson headquarters. “I’m also going to use them for the next album.”
Santana returns to show #301 at the House of Blues on Wednesday night. It is scheduled for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 1, 4 and 5 (doors at 19:00, show at 20:00).
The new music is for an as-yet-untitled album that may or may not feature collaborations with superstars. Santana is always working on some new venture and this project is in the larva stage.
“Every time it feels brand new and fresh, especially now because we haven’t played in a while,” said the 75-year-old rocker, who last played HoB in November. “I hope I can remember who I am and what to do about it.”
Having signed to HoB in 2026, Santana doesn’t mind hitting pause to brush up on his stage experience.
“The good part is that when you don’t play for a while, everything becomes virgin again,” he said. “This is not common and does not happen again. Everything seems virgin again.”
Santana’s support group is intact, including his dedicated singers. Ray Green and Andy Vargas. Cindy Blackman SantanaSantana’s wife and artistic counterweight, (super) naturally behind the drums.
“Cindy makes everything so bubbly and bright,” Santana said. “She’s like a source of joy.”
The legend has a reputation for extremely high standards for his support team. How does his drummer play this pattern?
“A lot of people said, ‘You know you can’t do anything,'” Santana said. “And I say, ‘What do you mean?’ “Well, you’re kind of demanding on drummers.” I said “Me?” But they don’t know Cindy and they don’t know me. We both love (legendary jazz drummer) Tony Williams, we love Miles Davis, we love Bob Marley, we love Marvin Gaye. We love the same things.”
That includes Ritual, a passion project that Santana launched in September. He developed a rock opera based on someone’s daily rituals. Santana wants Lin-Manuel Miranda become a partner in this project.
“I say this not with arrogance, but with enthusiasm,” Santana said. “It will be more than The Lion King. It will be bigger than Hamilton. I think about costumes, about dancing. Lin is perfect for this; he just hasn’t met me yet.
“Once he meets me and sees what I’ve made, like The Rock said, it’ll blow his mind, man.”
In November, Miranda smiled when she found out about Santana’s interest, saying, “I’d take that call.”
There might be more flattery with this project, but Santana doesn’t need more prizes. Where would he put them? His headquarters is filled with trophies (including his 17 Grammy Awards), artwork, tools, and even a silver and black shovel given to him by the owner and friend of the Raiders. Mark Davis at the groundbreaking of the Allegiant Stadium.
Near his office are shiny turquoise drums, a birthday present from Cindy.
Santana paused when asked which of these items he was most proud of.
“It’s very strange to come here and see all this, because I feel completely out of touch with all this,” he said. “It’s like it’s someone else. But what I really treasure is my three children, Salvador, Stella and Jelly (Angelica). They represent my mother and father in the future, they represent my DNA and the current river.”
Representing her legacy in every show is still important to Santana, who never strays from formulaic performances.
“We want a triumph every night, for people to come home feeling like they got more than they paid for,” Santana said. “That’s what Maya Angelou said, the only thing people want to remember is how you make them feel. So we want people to feel really good.”
Cool freeze alert
Serena Henry Band plays at the Spirits Supper at the Stirling Club from 8 am to 11 pm (doors at 7 pm) on Friday. Henry has toured as a backing vocalist for Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight. You may also recognize her as the vocalist David Perrico and the Raiders House Band. Go to TheStirlingClub.com to book.
John Katsilometes’ column is published daily in Section A. His PodKatz! The podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.