Photo by Chris Jackson

Remembering Carlos Santana’s younger brother, Jorge Santana – gone at 68

I’ve seen Jorge Santana play with his older brother, Carlos, at Santana concerts many times. Guillermo “Jorge” Santana died Thursday, May 14, 2020 of what reps said was “natural causes.”

video of Jorge playing guitar on “Suavecito” live

Jorge took up the guitar at 14 years old. Imagine having your older brother to keep pace with on guitar – your older brother being Carlos Santana!

My son Tyler, with Carlos Santana – hey, thanks for gettin’ me backstage, Dad!

Photo by Chris Jackson

As a guitarist, I’m asked which of the brothers was “better” on guitar.

At the concerts where both played, you could hear a difference. Jorge played competently, professionally, technically spot on, with emotion and feel. But, when his brother Carlos played, you could tell it was Carlos and no one else. It’s a technique and feel and sound that Carlos developed. Carlos often encourages guitarists to develop their own style and sound.

When you become an accomplished guitarist, you can play almost anything and sound like the recording of another guitarist. But when you spend years developing that skill, you lost years developing your own sound. Is it one or the other? Pretty much, yup. Carlos plays his own way – just like Eddie Van Halen – you can tell it’s them playing, and it’s hard to imitate it, because they’ve been playing it and “it” alone while the other guitarists were playing like other guitarists in addition to playing like themselves.

Santana at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA  7/25/2014

Photo by Chris Jackson
Photo by Chris Jackson

Imagine if there was no Coronavirus pandemic, and Carlos Santana was touring this summer – maybe he’d be playing “Suavecito”  –  I imagine he would ~


– Chris Jackson  #rememberingJorge





Chris Jackson

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