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Jorge Santana

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The youngest of three brothers, Jorge Santana had his greatest musical success as the leader of an early-'70s Latin rock band, Malo. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1972, included the Top Twenty hit, "Suavecito." Initially drawn to blues, Santana began playing guitar shortly after moving, with his family, to San Francisco in the early '60s. After playing with a four-piece high school blues band, he was invited to join the Malibus, a popular nine-piece blues band known for its horn-driven arrangements. The band, which evolved into Malo in 1971, featured former Janis Joplin's Kozmic Blues Band keyboardist Richard Kermode and trumpet/flügelhorn player Luis Garca. After recording Malo's final album, Ascension, in 1974, Santana performed, at New York's Madison Square Garden, as a special guest of the Fania All-Stars. The performance marked his last public appearance for three years as Santana retreated to his Mill Valley home, where he did little but eat, sleep, and play guitar. Although he released two solo albums -- Jorge Santana and It's All About Love -- neither sold well. Planning to take a year-long sabbatical from music, in 1982, Santana remained out of the public eye for seven years. Santana's return to music was sparked by an invitation to join his brother, Carlos's management company as director of artist relations. In addition to working on production, music clearances, and publishing, he toured with his brother's group. In 1994, the two brothers collaborated on an album, Brothers. ~ Craig Harris

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June 13, 1954

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