Sat 7th December, 20198:00 pm - 10:30 pm (Doors: 7:30pm)
The Woodstock 50th Anniversary tour from Oye Santana.
UK No.1 Winner at the 2018 National Tribute Music Awards. Celebrating 50 years since Santana’s electrifying performance at Woodstock catapulted them into stardom, this show is stacked with five decades of hits – including the multi-million seller Smooth, Black Magic Woman, Samba Pa Ti, Maria Maria, Oye Como Va, Corazón Espinado and She’s Not There – played with power, passion and perfection. It’s fiesta time, so get ready to party to guitar wizardry, astounding vocals and a rhythm section with more groove than you could shake a pair of maracas at.
What makes award-winning Oye Santana so good? First, the music. There’s a treasury of five decades of catalogue to draw on since that electrifying performance at Woodstock catapulted Santana into stardom – and every number in Oye Santana’s set is a gem in its own right. Expect to hear Smooth, Black Magic Woman, Samba Pa Ti, Maria Maria, Oye Como Va, Corazón Espinado, She’s Not There and many more – played with power, passion and perfection.
Then there’s the musicianship. Check out the credentials of Milan ‘Carlos’ Webb; of Gez Kahan and Hector Gomez; the astonishing breadth of abilities that Paul Murphy, Pete Lockwood and Jon Quirk bring to the on-stage set-up. This really is a feast of musical talent.
Next, the authenticity. They could go off on self-indulgent flights of fancy, but they don’t. They painstakingly recreate the original Santana arrangements of the big hits that you know and love to bring you the true Santana sound. But playing the right notes is only a start. There’s much more to being the Best Santana Tribute in the World…
There’s the passion. Carlos Santana’s guitar playing is instantly recognizable not just because of his tone or his trademark licks, but because of the emotion he puts into every note he plays. Oye Santana have that covered. And there’s the good-time feel. They’ve got that covered too. Every track is a fiesta – come and dance, come and party.
And every Oye Santana performance is a show, a visual feast of lights and action that will have you singing along, smiling along and dancing along from the first chink of a tambourine to the explosive finale. You’re going to love Oye Santana.
Already a rising presence on America’s West Coast, Santana hit the East Coast on Saturday 16 August, 1969, closing their Woodstock set with Soul Sacrifice, arguably the standout moment of the entire festival. Featured on the Oscar-winning documentary Woodstock, a box office smash, it introduced Santana to millions of new fans worldwide and catapaulted their guitarist to superstardom.
Then in 1970, Abraxas, their second album, cemented Santana’s place among the giants. Standout moments in the album (deemed ‘culturally, historically, or artistically significant’ by the US Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry) include Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen, Samba Pa Ti (if you don’t remember it from the first time, you’ll certainly know it from M&S’s Summer Foods ad a few years back) and Oye Como Va.
Huge though Santana was in the 1970s (and continued to be in the 80s and 90s), it was at the turn of the millennium that he found his greatest success with the release of Supernatural on June 15, 1999. Santana’s most successful album to date, it has global sales of over 30m, it was the no1 album in 10 countries, it won 8 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year 2000. Among a host of great tracks it spawned two Billboard no 1 hits – Smooth and Maria Maria (each Grammy winners in their own right. Smooth, the last Billboard No1 of the 1999, is rated the number-one rock song in the history of the Billboard magazine chart.
Milan ‘Carlos’ Webb (maestro – electric and acoustic guitars, vocals)
“The first thing that really appealed to me about Carlos Santana was his tone,” says Milan Webb. “As soon as I heard Samba Pa Ti I knew one day I’d love to be able to play like that.” It’s a dream he cherished for years, until the time was right to form a Santana tribute, with the right ethos and the right players to do justice to the sound, to the material and to all the Santana fans who felt the same way.
There’s no denying that he has the credentials to pull it off. When Milan Webb plays a guitar solo, he takes no prisoners. It’s not just his superb technique and wonderful tone that make him the ideal ‘Carlos’ for Oye Santana. It’s also his view that it’s his duty to wring every ounce of emotion out of a ballad, to inject even more excitement into up tempo numbers and never to forget that music is less about showing off than about communicating with your audience.
It’s a trade Milan has been plying almost as long as Carlos Santana himself – and along the way he’s immersed himself not only in the mysteries of latin rock, but jazz, fusion, straight ahead blues, acoustic playing – you name it, and he’s done it. And he’s played every type of gig from dances to concerts, at venues from tiny back rooms via circuit favourites such as The Blues Loft and Friars, to Wembley – plus overseas work across Europe.
With Oye Santana, Milan not only brings all that experience to bear in recreating the authentic Santana sound (and note-for-note renditions of the solos you’ve grown to love from the recordings), but he also looks the part, with costumes ranging from Santana’s jeans-and-teeshirt early years right up to the present day.
Gez Kahan (musical director – piano, electric piano, organ, synthesizers, vocals & percussion)
Gez Kahan played his first gig as a 15 year old, and later played and wrote arrangements for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, before turning full-time pro in his early 20s. He has performed alongside names including Jimmy Page, Phil Collins and Marion Montgomery, in addition to countless recording sessions.
His experience runs the gamut of popular music, from solo piano stints in high class restaurants to backing cabaret turns in a strip club, from dance bands to out and out rockers, and from writing and arranging original material to providing music for commercials and promotions. He’s been a top
Hector Gomez (vocals & percussion)
Where are you going to find a vocalist to cover everything from the US rock vocals on Abraxas, via the pure Latin-American of Festival to the Spanish Harlem tinged material on Supernatural? And convince not only with a staggering voice but with accurate pronunciation. The answer – but we still reckon we struck lucky – is Madrid, which is where Hector Gomez comes from.
The most amazing thing about Hector is not that he – a Spaniard from Madrid, who speaks perfect English and sings great rock and roll – happened to be singing at an open mic in Buckinghamshire at the same time as Milan Webb and Gez Kahan were looking for a vocalist for Oye Santana. It’s that he’d only discovered his voice by chance. He’d never even considered a career in music until getting up at a family gathering and wowing his astonished relatives. Listen, and you’ll wonder – as we did the first time we heard him – how a voice like that could have remained a secret for so long.
Paul Murphy (congas, timbales, djembe & percussion)
Murph’s approach to drums is simple – if you can bang it, I’ll get a rhythm out of it. He started at the age of 11 with a beaten up old snare drum supplemented by school bags doubling as tom toms, saw brief heavy metal chart success with his first ‘real’ band, Fire Bird, and settled into the life of the itinerant pro musician. Along the way he’s gigged with the likes of 10cc, Cockney Rebel and Medicine Head, written jingles and library music, and performed with Thin Lizzie’s Eric Bell and Gary Moore.
On stage with Oye Santana he’s the one leaping around behind an array of percussion and cymbals, covering everything from congas, timbales, djembe to cowbells, shakers and chimes.