RIP Raul Rekow

Posted on Nov 9, 2015

Former Santana percussionist and all-star conga player Raul Rekow lost his bout with cancer early last week on November 2nd.  He was 61.  Rekow was known as a show-stopping conguero with power, chops and taste.  He was a long time member of Santana from 1976 to 2013.   In his early professional career, he was a member of Malo and a member of Sapo with singer/percussionist Richard Bean who wrote the international hit “Suavecito” for Malo.  He was invited to record 2 songs with Santana in 1976 and so impressed Santana that he was asked to join the band.  Santana would boast an all-star percussion section which featured Armando Peraza and Orestes Vilato along with Rekow.  Raul’s powerful attack on the congas both complimented and pushed the percussion section into greatness on Santana’s live shows.   He also had a series of Latin Percussion instruments named after him.  Known for his radiant smile and outgoing personality, Rekow was always accessible and friendly.  After his stint with Santana, Rekow was a frequent collaborator with different groups and all-star ensembles in the SF Bay Area.  He was last seen making a public appearance at the dedication of the late radio DJ Chata Gutierrez mural on 24th Street in early October.  He will be sorely missed.