Now I know why Columbus wanted to discover India: Carlos Santana

Saturday, 27 October 2012 - 7:19pm IST | Agency: PTI
The Mexican-American singer, who is on his maiden trip to India, said that Indian food has pleased his taste buds a lot.

He had read in history books how Christopher Columbus wanted to discover India for its rich spices but legendary guitarist Carlos Santana says he understood the reason only after coming here and tasting the food.

The 65-year-old Mexican-American, who is on his maiden trip to India, said that Indian food has pleased his taste buds a lot.

"As a child, I had studied in History and read that Christopher Columbus wanted to discover India because he was fascinated by the spices but ended up in America," Santana said.

"When I landed here and I saw the people and tasted the food, I realised why Columbus was so eager to come to this wonderful country. India has the best flavours for the tongue. I feel there should be a channel back home where they would teach preparing Indian food the whole day," he added.

Santana will headlining International Act at F1 Rocks with Vladivar to be held in Greater Noida tomorrow.

"I am honoured to be here. I want to connect with the people here with my music. I believe music has healing powers. My message is to remind people music is not only for dancing and be used as something to take you to euphoric trance, it is much more than that.

"Music should teach one to live in peace and harmony and be more responsible," said the 10 time Grammy-winner as he was presented with a metal statue of Lord Vishnu.

The music supremo, who has collaborated with names like Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Willie Nelson, said that collaborative music can only happen when two people complement each other.

"I believe that collaborations should only happen between two people who complement each other. I cannot go ahead and collaborate with Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. I have always maintained that. Music is not a competition. It is harmony. It is not Olympics where you have to outdo each other," he said.

When asked about his plans to work with an Indian musician, he said, "I wanted to collaborate with late sarod player Ali Akbar Khan. It almost happened but in the end it did not. I am open to collaborate with any male or female Indian artiste as long as they make music from their heart and mind."

Santana, who shot to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band Santana, is a pioneer of rock, Latin music and jazz fusion.

"I play pure African music. People call it Spanish or Latin but everything evolved in Africa, be it salsa, chachacha, It is known as musica tropica (music from the tropical countries)," he said.

Santana learned to play the violin at the age five and the guitar at the age of eight.

"I started off playing the violin but it is a very demanding instrument. My father, who was a violin player, made me play it but I ended up sounding like a whining cat and then decided to shift to guitar. I am so glad that I took that decision back then," he said.

Santana, who was accompanied by his wife and drummer Cindy Blackman, also shared his love story.

"I became engaged to Cindy after proposing to her during a concert in Chicago, Illinois in 2010. I did not want to waste any time. I feel that you should do what your heart tells you to do and that is exactly what I did and I knew she could not say no in front of such a huge crowd," he joked.

The two were married in December 2010. They currently live in Marin County, California.


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