Santana percussionist Raul Rekow dead at 61

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Carlos Santana’s longtime percussionist Raul Rekow has died, it’s been announced.

He made his debut on Santana’s 1977 album Festival and went on to play on 15 other studio recordings, including Marathon, Beyond Appearances, Supernatural and last year’s Corazon.

Santana said in a statement: “We mourn the loss of my brother Raul Rekow. He was an integral member of Santana for 34 years and the heartbeat of the band.

“His presence on the stage was one of power, grace, collaboration and joy. He redefined what it means to be a conga player. My heart goes out to his family.

“Raul, may you soar in heaven in the company of your mom and dad.”

No cause of death has been given.