“Magic is when you command the elements to capture people’s hearts”: the first trailer for new Santana documentary Carlos has arrived

Carlos Santana onstage in 1972
(Image credit: Jorgen Angel / Getty Images)

A new Santana documentary, Carlos: The Santana Journey, is set to premiere in a three-day event next month – and you can watch the trailer and an early clip of the film below.

The new film traces the story of the electric guitar icon, from his childhood violin playing, through to his days as a street musician, on to Woodstock and the ’60s and his commercial highpoint in the late ’90s, following the stratospheric success of the album Supernatural.

A co-production of Sony Music Entertainment and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, the film has been directed by Rudy Valdez, who holds two Emmys to his name and has previously made the documentaries The Sentence and We Are: The Brooklyn Saints.

As such, it looks like it’s been done right and reportedly features interviews with some of Santana’s key collaborators, among them Smooth singer Rob Thomas and music industry luminary Clive Davis. 

The latter is particularly notable, given he signed Santana twice – initially to Columbia in the ’60s and then again in 1999, to Arista – and masterminded the Supernatural project.

The film has already made its festival debut, but will receive a wider premiere across a three day cinema event on September 23, 24 and 27, which takes place at multiple venues and features “exclusive introductory content” from Santana and Valdez.

The trailer certainly whets the appetite, as does the clip below in which he reflects with his family on his first Ed Sullivan Show appearance. 

In addition to new and original interviews, we’re also promised the film includes “never-before-seen archival footage, including home videos recorded by Santana himself”.

If you’re keen to catch it on the big screen, head to the Carlos film site to buy tickets for your local screening. 

Meanwhile, those of you lucky enough to get tickets to Crossroads 2023 will be able to catch Santana in person next month, alongside a host of guitar talent, including Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer, Buddy Guy and Billy Gibbons.

UPDATE 8/25: The lead image on this article was changed. The original selection appears to have been a reflected image.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.