Wednesday, August 31st, Carlos was given an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles. The morning event took place under a tented stage on Patterson Field with words of wisdom from The Reverend Diana D. Akiyama and presiding president Kenyon S. Chang. The incoming Freshman class had been assigned to listen to Supernatural and write a paper on its cultural and personal influence. Carlos gave the convocation address, inspiring the students, professors and staff with his message.
The Salvador Santana Band (SSB) performed after Salvador asked for a minute of silence for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. They opened with “Rock da Mic” and then performed “Simple Story of Love”. Andy Vargas and Carlos joined the SSB for “U & Me,” followed by father and son playing together on “El Farol” and “Canela.”
Here is an excerpt from Carlos’ convocation address:
“Thank you so much. It is a great joy to receive this prestigious honor. I am deeply grateful to be here taking in this glorious experience with the presence of my son Salvador and my wife and best friend Deborah.
I am, to my knowledge, the first in my family to receive a university degree. I felt a renewed sense of peace and accomplishment the day I heard about Occidental College wanting to give me this honor. I then became uncomfortable to the point of wanting to rebel. I asked my assistant Rita to let the people know I did not want to wear a cap and gown. I believed in a way, that I was unworthy because I barely graduated high school. I deeply hope that I did not offend any of you by my refusing to wear a cap and gown. I do however feel that I wear the robe of dignity, grace and integrity of my father Jose Santana, Armando Peraza, Bill Graham, Miles Davis Clive Davis, Quincy Jones, Wayne shorter, and John Branca. I now feel that I am the very best of my ancestors, for in one day I am being given this honor and also receiving the Legend Award tonight at the World Music Awards.
My dedication to heal with music has, without a doubt, always been my first priority -- second only to my family. Healing music has the power to ignite, infuse, activate, integrate, and transform the listener to a place where there is no space and time, no good or evil, right or wrong, and into a place of wonderment. Healing music reminds the listener that we come from the light; we are just visiting, and we will return to the light.
Utilize your hearts’ vision to shape the future for yourself, the world, life and people. Do something from your heart; make a difference in the world, and you will still be profitable. I would like to dedicate this honor to my parents Josefína and José, my in-laws Jo and Saunders King, to my sisters and brothers, and my son and two daughters.
May the heavens open up and the angels bless each and every one of you with a deeper awareness of your own light."