ABOUT THE BAND

 

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 2012, 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  Gil Herrera, Victor Aguila, Selwyn Jones, Lare Garcia, Greg Burch along with "big show" additions and for 2019 various guests artists in the RV Horn Section, run by Ron Davis.

Michael Hernandez, vocalist and guitarist: A San Jose 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, which evolved after putting the Tribute to Santana shows together with Steve Garland in 2009.

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 before pursuing a radio and marketing career. Returning to the stage after a hiatus, Steve joined Michael and the Vandals in 2008.

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. 

Gil Herrera, drummer: Gil originally joined the band as the timbale player, playing on several tours with him in that position; eventually he moved into his current position on drums. He is one of the original Santana tribute members, as well as actively playing with other bands in the area like the Gig Garcia Band.

Ron Davis, horns arranger and contractor: 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 Burker, 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.  

Dave Schuler, keyboard player: Dave is an incredible keyboard player and an engineer at Intel!

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Lead vocalist and bassist Steve Garland