2013–present: Reunion of the classic line-up, Corazón, Santana IV, and Africa Speaks
On 2 February 2013, Carlos Santana confirmed that he would reunite his classic line-up, most of whom played Woodstock with him in 1969. Santana stated that he is reuniting the group with the intention of recording new music. Confirmed for the reunion are Neal Schon, who was in the band in the early 1970s where he traded lead guitar work with Santana before leaving with founding Santana singer-organist Gregg Rolie in 1973 to form Journey; drummer Mike Shrieve and percussionist Mike Carabello. Santana said of Rolie, who played with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band for the last two years, “I’m pretty sure Gregg’s going to do it.” In February 2013, Rolie told Radio.com, “it’s (the reunion) just a matter of putting it together and going and doing it. I would do it. I think it’s a great idea. People would love it. It could be great!”
In the meantime, Santana released on 6 May 2014 a new studio album entitled Corazón and on 9 September 2014, Corazón – Live from Mexico: Live It to Believe It, a new live album (on CD, DVD and Blu-ray) of their show in 14 December 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
On 15 April 2016, Santana released Santana IV, the wildly anticipated studio album that reunites the early 1970s classic lineup of Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album marks the first time in 45 years – since 1971’s multi-platinum classic Santana III – that the quintet has recorded together.
The origins for the reunion go back several years, when Schon suggested that he and Carlos Santana record together. Santana liked the idea but went one better, proposing that they recruit Rolie, Shrieve and Carabello for what would be called “Santana IV”. After initial writing sessions and rehearsals took place in 2013, the group recorded throughout 2014 and 2015, amassing 16 new tracks that combined all their signature elements – Afro-Latin rhythms, soaring vocals, electrifying blues-psychedelic guitar solos, and irrepressible jubilant percussion work.
About the “Santana IV” team, Santana stated: “It was magical, we didn’t have to try to force the vibe – it was immense. From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana.”
Santana IV features 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band. Joining the core “Santana IV” band in the studio are current Santana members Karl Perazzo (percussion) and Benny Rietveld (bass), with vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two cuts.
The first single from Santana IV, entitled “Anywhere You Want to Go”, was released on 5 February 2016.
On 21 October 2016, Santana released Santana IV: Live at the House of Blues Las Vegas on Eagle Rock Entertainment, a new (151 minutes) live album (on DVD/Blu-ray/2CD) of their concert on 21 March 2016 at the House of Blues, Las Vegas, Nevada.
In early January 2019, Santana signed with Concord Records and on 25 January, they released In Search of Mona Lisa, a new (5-track) EP. The day before, they also released a video for new single, “Do You Remember Me.” In March 2019, the band announced plans to release on June 7, 2019, Africa Speaks, their new full-length album produced by Rick Rubin.
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Carlos Santana’s iconic album, Supernatural, and the 50th anniversary of his legendary performance at Woodstock. Santana is currently headlining a multi-year residency at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The band is set to headline at both Woodstock 50 and Bethel Woods’ half-centennial celebration in Bethel, NY, in August 2019. Prior and before, the band is touring in support of the new album, from April to November 2019. Wiki.