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Watch Carlos Santana update Oye Como Va with the help of 25 musicians around the world

Carlos Santana has teamed up with the non-profit Playing For Change to revisit his classic cover of Tito Puente’s Oye Como Va, featuring a further 25 musicians from around the world.

Among those featured on the new recording are bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, Santana’s daughter and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, vocalist Jose´Valdés Terán and Tito Puente, Jr., on the timbales. 

The full list of musicians is extensive: 

  • Al Brothers - Percussion
  • André Siqueira - Bongos
  • Andreus Valdés Torres - Maracas
  • Becky G - Vocals
  • Carlos Santana - Electric guitar
  • Cindy Blackman Santana - Drums
  • Chouloute Minouche - Vocals
  • Cory Henry - Organ
  • Estevinson Padilla Valdés - Vocals
  • Jose´Valdés Terán - Vocals
  • Karl Perazzo - Congas
  • Luis Carlos Cassiani Simarra - Güiro and vocals
  • La Escuelita del Ritmo - Vocals
  • Manuel Pérez Selinas - Vocals
  • OBA Frank Lords - Cowbell
  • “Papi” Felix Garemua - Electric guitar
  • Paulo Heman - Tambourine
  • Rubén Rada & Family - Congas and vocals
  • Tal Wilkenfeld - Electric bass
  • Tito Puente, Jr. - Timbales
  • Washboard Chaz - Washboard

Santana’s initial recording of Oye Como Va featured on his 1970 album Abraxas, which also included his interpretation of Black Magic Woman and the enormously popular instrumental, Samba Pa Ti

Oye Como Va was originally released by Puente in 1962 and initially became a staple of the Santana live set due to its popularity with audiences as a dance number. The band then included it on Abraxas before it received a single release in 1971, making it to number 13 on the Billboard 100. 

The new version of the track has been created as part of the Song Around The World series, organised by Playing For Change. The non-profit organisation aims to build connections through music, enabling street performers and other musicians from around the world to collaborate across vast distances. Co-founder Mark Johnson produced the track. 

“This song is so full of positive energy and soul that it makes people feel joy and that’s one of the best things music can do to change the world,” says Johnson. “When we feel the love we have more to give and a deeper connection to our shared humanity. The time is now to unite as a human race and music is the best tool we have to make that happen.”

The charity has previously orchestrated an all-star cover of Led Zeppelin's When the Levee Breaks, featuring the likes of John Paul Jones, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Buffalo Nichols.

For more information, head to Playing For Change (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.