The Latin Recording Academy (LARAS) honored Carlos as the 2004 Person of The Year for his dedication to education, the fight against AIDS and other social endeavors. The evening consisted of a star studded dinner, an award ceremony, Carlos’ acceptance speech and an amazing musical tribute. Many artists honored Carlos and his music such as: Ozomatli, Dave Matthews, Rob Thomas, Steve Vai, Fher Olvera (From Mana) and The Black Eyed Peas to name a few. All of the artists honored Carlos with their own versions and interpretations of his music. Carlos played a few songs to end the evenings festivities. George Lopez, Cheech Marin, Salma Hayek & Quincy Jones were on hand to honor & entertain Carlos and family throughout the evening.
After accepting the award from Quincy Jones & Salma Hayek, Carlos thanked his family, his Band (past & present) and all those who have and still continue to influence him, his spirit and his music.
The musical tribute had many highlights with many amazing artists lending their talents. The Backing Band was hand picked by Quincy Jones & Ricky Minor but special attention must be given to Karl Perazzo, who helped them find the right grooves, feel and tempos on all of the Santana songs performed that evening.
Ozomatli kicked off the evening with a rocking version of “Everybody’s Everything” followed by The Black Eyed Peas who played a grooving, hip-hop version of “Evil Ways”. After performances by Cabas (“No One To Depend on”) & Café Quijano (“Africa Bamba”), Dave Matthews & Steve Vai played a great “Love of My Life”. Dave sang beautifully as Steve tore into the solo section of the song. Fher Olvera, from Mana, joined the House Band for a great version of “Corazon Espinado” that got the LA crowd on their feet. After great performances by Julieta Venegas (“The Game of Love”), La Ley (“Black Magic Woman”), Alejandro Lerner & Obie (“Oye Como Va”) Andy Vargas dug in deep and sang “I Hope Your feeling Better”. Jubilant Sykes bellowed out “Novus” and then the mood got serious, as Carlos & Salvador Santana played alone for the audience.
The opening Notes of “Ah Sweet Dancer” rang through the room and everyone fell silent as Carlos & son ripped at our heart strings. Then the real fun began as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter & Carlos jammed a version of “Afro Blue” that would make Mongo Santamaria proud. To top it off, Rob Thomas joined Carlos during the encore for a ripping version of “Smooth”.
Overall, it was an amazing evening, with friends, family and a great musical tribute. Proceeds from the evening’s events went to MusiCares. MusiCares helps out musicians, producers and anyone in the music industry who has fallen on hard times. For more information about MusiCares, please www.grammy.com/musicares"
To view more photos of the POTY Awards Dinner & The Latin Grammy’s rehearsal, please visit the photo gallery.