Mandela by Santana

Nelson Mandela on Day After ReleaseIn 1987 Santana released an album that contained the song “Mandela.” At that time Nelson Mandela was still in prison, but people around the world were drawing attention to the injustice he was experiencing. Along with being a call to action, the song was a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday. Time hasn’t diminished the relevance of this song; in fact, it has only deepened it. Three of the musicians appearing in this video performed at the amazing Bogart’s show that took place in 1983: guitarist Carlos Santana, who was wearing a John Coltrane t-shirt; percussionist Armando Peraza, who first appeared on the 1972 release Caravanserai; and keyboardist Chester Thompson, who was so new to the lineup that he had not yet shown up on a Santana album. With a band comprised from musicians of different races, from different countries and radically different musical background, Santana embodied, long before most of us even knew who Nelson Mandela was, the spirit of his message. Here’s Santana performing “Mandela:”

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