Carlos Santana’s long-time bassist Benny Rietveld reflects on a career at the front line of expression

Benny Rietveld
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

The Holland-born, Hawaii-raised bass guitar star Benny Rietveld is no stranger to demanding gigs, having played with the late Miles Davis towards the end of the late jazz icon’s career, and having held down the low-end with the mighty Carlos Santana since 1990. 

His most-heard bass part is undoubtedly the line anchoring the inescapable Smooth from 1999, but he has also delivered miraculous contributions to recordings by Herbie Hancock, Eagle Eye Cherry, John Lee Hooker, Sheila E, and as a solo artist.

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.