Over the course of his decades-long career Carlos Santana sold a lot of records and built a huge fan base, and along the way, he influenced generations of musicians.
A number of them are from the Tampa Bay area, like drummer David Nunez, keyboardist Brad Trumbull and guitarist Mark Barrios.
Those three Tampa-based players, each with long careers in music, came together almost three years ago to form Moonflower, a Santana Tribute band. The band also includes Manny Betancourt on percussion and Howard Kleinfeld on bass.
Moonflower brings the music of Santana to life on the Palladium stage this Friday at 8 p.m. For tickets and information, you can follow this link.
Several of the players were doing Santana songs in their own musical projects. But doing a first-class Santana Tribute offered a chance for bigger stages and larger audiences.
“Mark (Barrios) is the best Santana guitarist you are ever going to find next to Santana himself. He’s always been a huge Santana fan and when he played Santana it was just magic.”
Turnbull was also the right guy for the Santana keyboard sound, with its heavy emphasis on Hammond B-3 coursing below the soaring guitar parts.
Nunez brought four of the players, along with another bass player, together in his home studio. He called the session for 7 p.m. At 6:50, nobody was there.
“But by 7:10 everybody was set up and we were counting off the first song. We went through the whole set list that first time. We did the whole show from beginning to end.”
It helped that the players had been doing a lot of Santana material already.
“It just jelled from the start,” Nunez said.
Nunez said that what Santana fans will hear Friday night are all the big radio hits – Soul Sacrifice. Oye Como Va, Black Magic Woman. Everybody’s Everything. Smooth. Hope You’re Feeling Better – and a few wonderful but lesser-known Santana tracks.
Moonflower features Mark Barrios on guitar and vocals, Brad Turnbull on keyboards and vocals, Manny Betancourt on percussion and vocals, Howard Kleinfeld on bass, and David Nunez on drums.
The Moonflower show is part of a summer of great music and comedy at the Palladium. Check out www.mypalladium.org for more shows and events.