By Patte Purcell
What’s in a name? When it has the iconic sound of Santana it certainly peaks the interest. The charming and polite young man first messaged me on Facebook about playing in one of the Celebrity Jams. I have been following his career and wanted to interview him for my column. He will also be appearing in the Celebrity Jam at Outdoor Resorts Palm Springs (a private event) and Jazz at the Mansion, which is also a Private Party this month.
I’ve tuned into his FB live videos on a number of occasions and enjoyed his mellow Brazilian style guitar. I listened the whole time.
Let’s start with a funny story. Alex played a gig with his band at Pappy and Harriet’s the same week that Paul McCartney decided to play there during the week between Desert Trip. Since they played on the same stage Alex put a humorous note on his Facebook page thanking Paul McCartney for letting them open up for him and a wink. Little did he know that this would be taken literally and suddenly he was contacted by press (including me) wanting to do a story on him.
To make a long story short, he opened our phone interview with that tidbit. He didn’t open up for Paul McCartney, but he did in fact open up for BB King. Now, for a second funny story. He was asked to play in a band that opened for BB King, but was told he absolutely could not speak to BB. Now Alex had purchased and bought a “Lucille” guitar and was hoping to get BB to sign it for him. So when BB was finished he snuck backstage and approached him. He told BB he had opened for him and wanted to meet him. BB sat down, shook his hand and was chatting with him. He asked BB to sign his guitar and just about that time he got busted by security who escorted him out of the building. As a consequence he was banned from the Empire Polo Fields. Ouch. You’ve got to give it to him for courage! That’s what it takes to make it in this music business.
I had a delightful chat with this 31 years old. He’s been playing music since he was 7. He started out playing sax. He’s been playing guitar for 19 years. Is he related to Carlos Santana? No, he’s not, but Santana’s music was his biggest influence so his friends long ago started calling him Santana, LX Santana. It’s still a great name for this business. Score one for Alex.
His background includes forming a 13 piece Latin jazz band at the beginning of the recession of 2008. “Alex A and the Desert All Stars”. As you can imagine it’s quite difficult to book a band that large. In addition as he found out, it’s really hard to manage a bunch of band members, keep them well dressed, sober, and showing up on time. Ultimately, those issues made him decide a solo act was in his best interest. He still plays with bands, but only when they book it and hire him.
His solo act is Brazilian in flavor with a mix of standards. Relaxing and melodic, it’s great accompaniment to conversation. His look is clean and crisp. He is a good looking guy with a great head of hair and dresses well. I always consider these things in the total entertainment over view.
He has an easy way about him; cool, if you know what I mean. Overall, he’s easy on the eyes and ears. (Ladies, take note, he is currently without a lady love which is important to him, fyi).
In addition to playing in the desert he also just got offered an opportunity to write for film and TV for Franklin Thorne Publishing. He’s excited to say the least. He’s recently moved his apartment around to give him a full time recording studio in what was his bedroom. So even though he’s sleeping on his couch he promises that he will be releasing a CD next March. He’s also an artist and a photographer and he’s doing the entire project himself. I’ve seen his photography and he does have an eye and great style.
Here is Alex’s schedule. He will be performing at my next 2 events as well. You can contact him at Lxsantana@hotmail.com, his website is lxsantana.com.
Tue. Jan.3, 6-9pm @ 29 Palms inn, solo
Wed. Jan.4, 5:30-8:30 @ Wang’s in the Desert, solo
Thurs. Jan.5, 6-9pm @ Wang’s in the Desert, solo
Fri. Jan.6, 6-9pm @ PDCC w/ Road runners
Tue Jan.10, 5:30-830 @ Oscars in downtown Palm Springs ,solo
Sun, Jan 15, 3-5:30 @ Celebrity Jazz Jam
Tue. Jan 17 5:30-8:30 @ Oscars , solo
Fri. Jan 20, 6-9pm @ 29 Palms Inn, solo
Tue, Jan 24, 5:30-8:30 @ Oscars
Sun, Jan 29 4:20-7:30 @ Jazz at the Mansion (private party)
Tue. Jan 31, 5:30-8:30 @ Oscars, solo
Patte Purcell – Muze Muzic