Carlos Santana (born July 20, 1947) is a Mexican and American guitarist who rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz. Its sound featured his melodic, blues-based lines set against Latin and African rhythms played on percussion instruments such as timbales and congas not generally heard in rock.
"Samba Pa Ti" ("Samba for You"), was written by Santana after he saw a jazz saxophonist performing in the street outside his apartment. It was later covered by José Feliciano, who added lyrics. "Samba Pa Ti" appears on the album Abraxas (1970)
Carlos Santana told Mojo magazine November 2008 that he felt that this was his first recording when he was truly able to express himself. He explained:
"I remember being alone one evening- until then when I heard my records it was like seeing myself in the mirror and there was no me there, only a lot of other guitarists' faces: B.B., George Benson, Peter Green. That evening I heard Samba Pa Ti on the radio and I looked in the mirror and it was my face, my tone, my fingerprints, my identity, my uniqueness. Because when I recorded it I was thinking of nothing, it was just pure feeling. I have a suspicion it came from stuff bottled up inside me, that I didn't know how to express or articulate. I get angry because, 'Why can't I say what I really mean?' Then Samba Pa To comes out of me. And everybody understands it."