Carlos Santana to Release First Spanish Album on Sony Latin/RCA

Maryanne Bilham/RCA Records

Carlos Santana

Live Concert Event to Air on HBO in Spring

Carlos Santana will release his first-ever Spanish language album in early 2014, he announced in a press conference today at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The set, titled "Corazón," will be released jointly by RCA/Sony Latin Iberia, part of a growing number of releases that the two labels are working together.

In conjunction with the album, RCA and Sony have also partnered with the Mexico Tourism Board and HBO Latino and HBO Latin America to film a live concert event from Guadalajara Dec. 14, featuring many of the acts in the album.

They include Gloria Estefan, Lila Downs, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Diego Torres, Romeo Santos, Ziggy Marley and Juanes, with whom Santana recorded the first single, “La Flaca.” The track was a hit back in the 1990s in its original version by Spanish rock band Jarabe de Palo.

"Corazón" is expected to be released probably in March, while the live concert -- titled "Corazón, Live From Mexico: Live It To Believe It" -- will also debut on the HBO networks this spring. The concert’s title is a direct reference to Mexico’s current promotional international TV campaign, whose slogan is “Mexico: Live It to Believe It.”

The album and concert are firsts in many respects. Not only is it Santana’s first Spanish-language album, but this is also the first time a concert event will premiere simultaneously in HBO Latino -- which is U.S.-based -- and HBO Latin America. This is also a first for the Mexico Tourism Board, which has sponsored many musical events and videos in the past, but nothing at this scale.

Among other components of the project, the concert DVD -- which will be released later in the year -- will include a documentary of the artists traveling throughout Mexico, Rodolfo López Negrete, CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board, said.

“I want to thank Sony for being innovative and bringing this project to us,” López Negrete said during the press conference.

The idea of a Santana Spanish-language album with guest acts was brought to Santana by Afo Verde, chairman of Sony Music Latin America/Iberian Penninsula, together with Alex Gallardo, his VP of A&R, and Fernando Cabral, the company’s director of marketing for Latin America.

“They are the three architects of this project,” Santana said. “They asked me if I felt like doing it […] Our goal is to change the energy of the world with this project.”

In deciding who to collaborate with, Santana settled on a wide array of acts representing many countries, from well-known Juanes and Estefan to up-and-comers like Colombia’s Chocquibtown and artists like Samuel Rosa of Brazilian band Skank, who are little-known stateside.