Santana Family Traditions

Guest Author
Sep 15, 2021

My name is Salvador Santana. I am a musician, a producer, an artist, a father, and an advocate for cannabis and equality. I grew up in the SF Bay Area, in a household where music was always playing. I can remember sitting on my dad’s lap with drumsticks in my hands at 2 years old, playing the toms and cymbals while he controlled the hi-hat and kick drum. My dad wanted me to learn and understand the concept of rhythms and tempos, the same philosophies his mentors instilled in him.

I come from a multicultural background. I’m Afro Chicano – my father’s family is from Mexico, my mother’s side is from Louisiana by way of Africa through the Atlantic Slave Trade. Being an artist and a musician is not only in my family’s DNA, it’s our way of life.

Both of my grandfathers were musicians. Saunders King, my maternal grandfather, was a blues and jazz guitarist, singer, big band leader, and preacher from a town outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jose “El Farol” Santana, my father’s dad, was a violinist and Mariachi band leader. He and my grandmother both came from a little village in Auztlan/Halisco Mexico, and chose to make the dangerous journey to cross the border for a better life in the US.

My grandmothers were fierce women and ahead of their time in terms of consciousness about health and wellness. My maternal grandma, Jo Francis King-Willis, made fresh-squeezed juices to give to my mom and auntie when they were girls during the ‘50s and 60’s, a time when processed foods were being heavily promoted to US families. And mi abuelita, my paternal grandmother, produced a homemade tonic made out of cannabis to treat my dad and his siblings when they had sores, aches, and pain.

As I learned more about my family’s history, I realized that music, cannabis and healing go together perfectly. Cannabis can be used as a tool to stimulate creativity, and the plant is proven to have superpowers to naturally heal people physically and mentally. Between creating art and indulging in cannabis (in moderation) cannabis gives us all a huge opportunity to help ourselves and heal others in need.

My mission in life has always been to remind others of the unique and dope qualities that we all have and can share with the world! I can’t think of a better way to do that than through the creative art and expression that is inspired through music and cannabis. I’m proud to come from a lineage of creatives and healers. If I can be in service to others, then I’ve fulfilled my family’s dreams for me and can pass the lineage on.

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