- Oakland, CA
Santero comes from a long family tradition of Latin musicians and Sonidero sound system deejays. He was raised in the mountains, jungles and Atlantic coasts of Central America where he travelled extensively from Guatemala to Panama performing with his father’s Salsa & Cumbia bands. He came to the United States at a young age as a refugee escaping the political upheaval that was tearing Central America apart in the late 70’s and 80’s. Once in the US, Santero immediately started the mu...Read more
Once in the US, Santero immediately started the musical street hustle that would later define his style and sound. From the ghettos of New York and New Orleans to the barrios of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Santero refined his sonic palette and delivery by performing relentlessly in nightclubs, warehouses and on street corners. Drawing from such diverse musical influences as Reggae, Jazz, Punk, Funk and Hip-Hop, Santero incorporated his traditional Latin upbringing with these western music styles and developed his own brand of international fusion beats.
Eventually his constant touring and performing led him back to his roots in Latin America. After an extended stint of travelling and performing in Central America and the Caribbean, he found himself in Habana, Cuba. This would be a crucial turning point in his musical trajectory. While in Cuba, Santero was initiated as a priest in the Yoruba/Santeria religion. He was crowned as an avatar to the African deity Obatala, spirit of peace and light. From that point onwards, Santero dedicated his musical energy towards exposing a new generation of Latinos and Latin music lovers to the spiritual essence of the Pan-African Diaspora through club friendly rhythms and rhymes.
Santero now resides in Oakland, CA where he hosts a hugely successful weekly global music showcase called The Jet Set. He splits his time working as a recording artist, producer, deejay and radio host. In 2005 he was named Best New Artist by Batanga magazine for his first album and made Remezcla’s 2008 Top Ten list.
Santero's sophomore release El Hijo de Obatala has garnered critical acclaim, having been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered & Latino USA. Santero’s sophomore effort made several critics’ top 10 lists for best album of 2009 in the Village Voice, SF Weekly & other publications. Santero was nominated for a 2009 SF Weekly Music Award and was featured on many prominent music blogs. He is constantly touring and performing and exploring ways to fulfill his musical destiny.
El Hijo de Obatala (2009 City Hall Records/Round Whirled Records) is Santero's second album, a fresh release that brings together the bump of urban beats with elements of traditional salsa such as banging Latin percussion and horn sections. Santero is joined by veteran multi-Grammy nominated Producer Greg Landau (Patato Valdes, Susana Baca, Maldita Vecindad, Quetzal) and legendary beat maker One Drop Scott (E-40, Scarface, Mac Dre, Luniz) to create a unique Urban Latin sound that goes beyond the frontiers of Reggaeton and Hip-Hop to fuse the old and new school in a unique way that spark spontaneous combustion on the dance floor.
The third album by Santero, entitled Afrika (2011 City Hall Records/Round Whirled Records), is an exploration of the impact African rhythms have had on the music of Latin America. Funky Afro-Beat drums, poly-rhythmic Couper Decaler dance beats & Angolan Kuduro styles blend with Latin percussion & call and response vocals. Santero reaches deep into his Latin roots & African diaspora sensibilities to bring together the best of two musical worlds in this utterly danceable & celebratory release