In 2010, The MAGIC of SANTANA was founded by Gerd Schlüter (Lead Guitar), Andreas Rohde (Timbales, Percussion, Vocals) and Jürgen Pfitzinger (Congas, Bongos, Percussion). Furthermore we have Jens Skwirblies (Keyboards), Martin Hohmeier (Bass), Oliver Steinwede (Drums), Pablo Escayola (Conga, Bongos, Percussion) as well as Tom Friedländer (Gesang) and Oliver Schröder (Gitarre und Gesang). From the start, this was a very ambitious projekt with high-level expectations.
Of course, the only serious scale could only be Santana himself. To produce a sound as close to the original as possible, The MAGIC of SANTANA orientate most closely to the genuine instruments and amplifiers. Soon the expectations got overtaken by many magic moments that happened on the stage. More and more current and former members of SANTANA join the stage along with The MAGIC of SANTANA; they are excited about what they experience and they tell their buddies about it. This is a one-of-a-kind thing in Europe!
After the first shows in 2010, The MAGIC of SANTANA took the chance to meet nearly the whole Santana band, this made possible through existing contacts between Gerd and some of the members of Santana. While Santana was on tour in Europe, a friendly meeting took place on Oct 22th, with Jeff Cressman (trombone), Dennis Chambers (drums), Dave Mathews (keyboards), Benny Rietveld (bass) as well as Raul Rekow (congas). The meeting took place at the famous Gaga studios in Hamburg, Germany and culminated in a session in the recording room at Gaga, with The MAGIC of SANTANA and Benny Rietveld and Raul Rekow, followed by a spontanious meeting between Santana´s timbalero Karl Perazzo and The MAGIC of SANTANA´s timbalero Andreas Rohde. This was the inspiring moment to be followed by the idea to invite genuine members of Santana to join the stage with us.
After finishing the first live-video, we asked legendary Alex Ligertwood (Lead singer with Santana 1979-1994) if he´d be interested in working together with us. His answer: „I checked out your video, you guys are good, so lets talk. When? Where?“
The first show with Alex took place on May 21st, 2011, and it was the begin of a good friendship. From that moment on, we played further shows, sometimes having other special guests in addition, like Jimmy Z, saxophone player with Rod Stewart.
Then, on Oct 13th, 2012, it was time for the next magic moment. It was 1992 when they sang together, recording the Santana album “Milagro” – now Alex was excited to meet again current lead singer with Santana, Tony Lindsay . who won eleven Grammy Awards with Santana. That notible evening, they played a show together with The MAGIC of SANTANA! Tony was very excited about this event with Alex that he played a similar show shortly after in Redwood City, CA. The motto of the show was “SANTANA Members Past & Present“ and Alex and more genuine SANTANA members joined in.
And there´s more. In early 2013, Gerd travelled to USA and took the connections to the various Santana members to an even deeper level. He met them in the “House of Blues” down in Las Vegas during the Santana tour. This led to new ideas. The MAGIC of SANTANA got Raul Rekow – who left SANTANA after 38 years – as a special guest and played a show with him and Alex in Hungary (Juli 14th, 2014); shortly after that, they played a show in Meiningen, Germany, providing a magic summer night to the audience.
In 2015, we were very happy to have Richard Baker (Hammond, Keyboards) as a special guest; we played shows in Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.
In 2016, The MAGIC of SANTANA were on tour in Spain, producing their first live album (feat. both Alex and Tony); 2017 we will perform at least eleven shows during our 2nd Spain tour. By now, both Alex and Tony are much more than “only” special guests to us: they are friends and rather “real” members of the band. These are only a few (but of course, good!) reasons why The MAGIC of SANTANA is known as “Europe´s No.1 SANTANA Show”.
We are very excited about what is to come in the future!
The MAGIC of SANTANA