Watch Carlos Santana Re-Record “Oye Como Va” With International Artists
Carlos Santana has re-recorded his classic rendition of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” with the help of over 20 musicians from around the world, including Cindy Blackman Santana, Becky G, Tito Puente, Jr., Rubén Rada, Tal Wilkenfeld, Chouloute Minouche, and José Valdés Terán.
The song was produced by Playing For Change co-founder Mark Johnson as part of the organization’s Peace Through Music event in partnership with the United Nations to support social justice and the rights of Afro descendants.
“This song is so full of positive energy and soul that it makes people happy and it’s one of the best things music can do to change the world,” Johnson said. “When we feel love, we have more to give and a deeper connection to our common humanity. Now is the time to unite as a human race and music is the best tool we have to do that.
Puente wrote “Oye Como Va” in 1963 as the B-side of his album El Rey Bravo. “The tune was written and composed by him and he wanted a nice cha cha cha that was danceable and easy to sing,” says Tito Puente Jr.. “‘Oye Como Va’ has stood the test of time and continues to bring people together to dance and sing together, all over the world.”
Santana introduced the song to a new audience in 1970 when he covered his LP Abraxas. It was a worldwide hit and has been a key part of his live repertoire for the past half-century. Previous Playing For Change videos have focused on other classic tracks from that era like “The Weight”, “Gimme Shelter”, and “When The Levee Breaks”.
“All of our past Playing For Change recordings and videos shape our new songs around the world because we’re always meeting new musicians and learning new ways to connect the world through music,” Johnson says. “One thing we learned doing these Playing For Change songs around the world is that no matter how many things in this life divide us, they will never be as strong as the powerful music to bring us together. heart and one song at a time.
Tito Puente died in 2000, but his son thinks he would have loved this new version of the song. “He would be honoured, just like me,” he said. “The song has always been close to the Puente family and he would like to see the people of this planet still dancing to his music over 50 years later.”