Salvador Santana

The first thing that people tend to notice about singer, songwriter and keyboardist Salvador Santana is his last name.

His father is 10-time Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana.

Salvador is thankful for the experience and opportunities he’s gotten from working with his father, but he also wants to make his own name in the music world.

“I want, not independence so much, but individuality,” he said. “I want people to recognize my art on its own.”

The younger Santana, 28, who grew up in Marin County but now lives in Los Angeles, will assert his individuality touring Northern California with his own jazz and Latin rock band. That includes a show March 8 at Santa Rosa’s Last Day Saloon.

It’s no surprise that Santana grew up with music.

“My father introduced me to the drums when I was 2 or 3 years old,” he said. “He wanted me to get used to the idea of rhythm and tempo.”

But the Santana passion for music goes way beyond Salvador and Carlos.

Salvador’s maternal grandfather was blues pioneer Saunders King and his paternal grandfather was the internationally celebrated violinist and mariachi bandleader Jose Santana.

Salvador’s two younger sisters aren’t professional musicians, but they both sing and play piano, he said.

His musical influences go well beyond the family circle, however. Santana studied percussion and jazz piano at the San Francisco School of the Arts, then went on to study piano at California School of the Arts in Los Angeles.

Even though Santana grew up in a famous musical family, he didn’t start a full-time musical career until 2004.

“I had an opportunity to put a band together that summer and go out on tour with my father and open up for him,” he said. “I realized that this was something I not only love to do, but want to do” as a profession.

The Santa Rosa show starts at 8:30 p.m. March 8, with  Blanca Sandoval opening, at the Last Day Saloon, 120 Fifth St., in Railroad Square.

Tickets: $12 in advance; $15 day of show.

Information: 545-2343,,