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ABOUT THE BAND

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The timeless music of Carlos Santana has helped shape the sound or rock and Latin music since the late 60s.  The "VIVA SANTANA" show is a fiery tribute to the classic Santana sound, with a set list that plays like a Greatest Hits” CD!  From searing guitar solos to smooth vocals and the rhythmic beat of the congas, timbales, and drums, you’ll hear everything from "Black Magic Woman” to  “Jingo”, “She’s Not There”, “Smooth” and much more!

Lead guitarist Michael Hernandez and lead vocalist/bass player Steve Garland grew up in the bay area during Santana’s rise to fame, and both became musicians during the late 60s and early 70s, becoming a part of the San Francisco rock music scene. They’ve always been inspired by the music of Carlos Santana, and have worked over the years to recreate the Santana signature sound on guitar, and the vocals that combine to bring the Sound of Santana to life. It's a high energy show that pays tribute to their Latin heritage and Santana. 

VIVA SANTANA was born from Steve, Michael and The Rhythm Vandals-a longtime Sacramento favorite band. The VIVA SANTANA SHOW launched in 2008, and since then they've Opened for WAR, Los Lobos, Eddie Money, Malo, and Headlined Concerts, events, festivals, casinos, and clubs.  For bookings, see the bookings page.

 

Nicknamed "Northern California's #1 Santana Tribute band by Thunder Valley Casino, the band is still fronted by founders Michael Hernandez and Steve Garland. The rest of the band features several talented, well-known Musicians from around the world musicians including  Gig Garcia, Victor Aguila, Selwyn Jones, Greg Burch, Dave Schuler, and occasional guest guitarist Lare Garcia. The Big 10 piece show also features The Bad Axe Horn Section, run by Ron Davis.

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Lead vocalist and bassist Steve Garland

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Lead guitarist and vocalist Michael Hernandez

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Ron Davis on horns

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Lead vocalist and bassist Steve Garland

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Michael Hernandez, vocalist and guitarist: A Bay Area native, but now in El Dorado Hills, Michael has spent his life performing all over the west coast, and formed the Rhythm Vandals in the early 2000s as a classic Rock band. This evolved after partnering with Steve Garland in 2008. Both Bay area musicians had a natural love of Santana, and had been performing his music separately. Together,  they formed what has become the VIVA SANTANA SHOW Tribute to Santana! Also a lifelong marketing guy, the band has two marketing pros that help promote all the shows on both radio and social media.

Steve Garland, lead vocalist and bassist: Originally from San Leandro- another bay area musician who grew up listening to the bay area bands including Santana, and toured through the 70s and early 80s with several groups. Steve wrote and recorded an Album as THE SGB  in the early 80s for Atlantic Records, while working in the radio.tv and film industry. Steve spent 20 years on the air in San Francisco Radio and TV, hosting an ABC TV series "San Francisco Hot Rock" 84-85, while continuing to perform, and  eventually launching an Ad Agency and Jingle Company that he runs today. Returning to the stage after a hiatus, Steve joined Michael to form the band in 2008.

Gig Garcia, Keyboards, Lead Vocalist:  Gig is an accomplished studio musician, songwriter, commercial jingle writer, producer.  Respected as a remarkable musician, Gig has also added acting credits to his résumé with his performance in the 1996 Touchstone Pictures release “Phenomenon” which featured John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall and Forest Whitaker. He is also seen in Eric Clapton's "Change the World" video. Co-producer of the PSA "Save Water" for the city of San Jose which was awarded an Emmy.

Selwyn Jones, Congas: Originally from Texarcana, Texas, Selwyn is an amazing percussionist that has been with the band since their very first Santana tribute show. He's been playing congas and percussion for over 30 years, and has performed all over Northern California with several groups such as Sack 'O Soul and East Wind. 

Greg Burch, drummer: Greg is an original member of the band, and has a deep knowledge of the percussion behind the the music of Santana. Greg directs the percussion section, carefully making sure the band expertly re-creates all the nuances of every song, while finding places to give the congas or timbales the spotlight with some stand out percussion solos!

Victor Aguila, Timbales:  Originally from El Salvador, Victor is a world class percussionist. He started playing drums in El Salvador when he was 16 years old . He played with famous bands like La Banda(the band)Espiritu Libre (free spirit), Hierro (iron) and Via Lactea (milky way)  touring all over Central America playing Carnivals, concerts and tv shows, some of those tv shows can be found on YouTube under Via Lactea videos , emigrating to the USA in 1981 Victor has performed with several top touring bands and joined  Viva Santana Show several years ago. His standout solos, and rock solid knowledge of Santana's percussion makes for an exciting show!

Ron Davis, horns arranger and Trombone: Ron is a former music copyist for Tower of Power horns, music copyist and arranger/composer for the Don Ellis Orchestra, as well as having played with Solomon Burke, 4 Tops, Temptations, Bobby Rydell, and Lee Greenwood. He is a former Navy Band unit leader and staff arranger, and is now a local bandleader of his own big band, various jazz and party bands, and The Folsom Branch.  Ron manages the  horn players that make-up the big 10 piece version of the Viva Santana Show!

Dave Schuler, keyboard player: Dave grew up touring around the country with bands starting in the early 70s, and is what many musicians call The "Wizard"-and he almost looks like one! Dave is an incredible keyboard player who also plays a multitude of parts that Make the Santana sound even fatter. All this and he is also an engineer at Intel!