The All-Star Tribute to Santana
The Lotus Kings:
The Lotus Kings is truly a labor of love for Deacon Blues founder and guitarist Steven Kikoen. Being one of his earliest influences, Kikoen’s discovery of Carlos Santana in his teens changed the path of his musical direction dramatically. With such a strong connection to the sound, the sustain, and the phrasing of Santana’s work, fused with the innovative joining of Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms to rock, funk, and later jazz––the stage was set for the future award-winning guitarist, music educator and impresario.
Today, a quantum leap later and after the success of Deacon Productions’ first two All-Star bands (Deacon Blues: The All-Star Grammy® Tribute to Steely Dan and BIG SUIT: An All-Star Tribute To Talking Heads) Kikoen has returned to his earliest roots and rediscovered Santana while reinventing his music–not unlike what Clive Davis did for Maestro Santana back in 1999 with Supernatural. Taking a cue from Davis, and in the true ‘Deacon’ form of using only the leading, preeminent musicians Chicago has to offer, Kikoen’s aim was to create an All-Star tribute
devoted to honoring the copious and prolific Santana repertoire–while capturing the innate mystique and the unique vibe of adding a Brazilian take to the Santana experience.
An Evening with The Lotus Kings: An All-Star Tribute To Santana brings together eight Chicago-area stellar musicians that procure an astonishing replication of the musical wonder that is SANTANA. From “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va” to “Smooth,” “Maria Maria,” and “The Game of Love,” The Lotus Kings repertoire includes everything from the classic early hits to the “Supernatural” Grammy® songs and beyond. In harmony with the production is award-winning filmmak/animator John Theroux’s multimedia presentation created specifically for The Lotus Kings––with additional performance logistics by Coffee Cup Productions.
The All-Star Lotus Kings collective includes guitarist Steven Kikoen (Deacon Blues, BIG SUIT, River North Allstars, The Deacons); Brazilian vocalist Cecy Santana(Cecy Santana Band); 7-time Grammy winning drummer Paul Wertico (Deacon Blues, Pat Metheny Group, Wertico, Cain, & Grey); master conguero Joe Rendon (Chevere, Joe Rendon & Friends); virtuoso keyboardist Ben Lewis (Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band); legendary bassists Richard Patterson (Deacon Blues,Miles Davis, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald); Chuck Webb (Deacon Blues, Al Di Meola, Aretha Franklin), and Wally Hustin (Deacon Blues, Dave Mason, Phoebe Snow, Mike Stern); premier timbalero Jaime Claudio, and award-winning percussionist Janet Cramer. Live logistics by Michael Kaye and Natalie Nikolic. Musical Direction & Vision by Steven Kikoen & Joe Rendon.
The Lotus Kings have their debut original album OBRIGADA set for a 2019 Release. As Carlos would say …“Be ready to rearrange the molecules with the Light” as The Lotus Kings prepare to transport you into the mystical and magical world of SANTANA. In the words of another famous band …“A Splendid Time is Guaranteed for All!”
Steven is the founder and creative shaman of THE LOTUS KINGS. The genesis THE LOTUS KINGS dates back to Steven as a fifteen year old Santana fan. After hearing Samba Pa Ti, a course was set that has been undeniable ever since. Fast forward lo these many years to "Mr. Kikoen" and his "Millenniuum Music Project" which was a mutli-school curriculum written by Steven and aimed at getting teenage students to experience music they would not normally listen to. This program led to a meeting between Steven and Carlos that ultimately led to the creation of THE LOTUS KINGS.
As guitarist and vocalist of THE LOTUS KINGS and DEACON BLUES, Steven is a director, producer, composer, arranger, and youth choir director –– having worked with Steve Howe and Jon Anderson of YES among other Grammy® winning musicians. THE LOTUS KINGS is also an original project which features the writing partnership of Kikoen & Santana. Cecy Santana that is. Other collaborations include work with friends Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Peter Gabriel, and Paul Simon. Ever a Beatles fan, Steve cites Donald Fagen & Walter Becker, Larry Carlton, Peter Gabriel, Steve Howe, Jon Anderson, and Carlos Santana as friends and influences.
A native Brazilian, Cecy Santana is equal parts samba, jazz, funk,
rock ’n roll, and pop. She is an amalgam from the attributes of Gaga, Sade, Imbruglia, Aguilera, and Estefan. A composer of high acclaim, Santana’s music and videos have been in the charts for the past several years, propagated by the works of Triple Heat, Cecy Santana Band, and The Lotus Kings.
Santana has generated countless sold out shows and has developed a devoted following endlessly awaiting her next incarnation. Dubbed “The Chameleon,” she reinvents herself constantly through the auspices of the award-wining HMUA and photography of Jairo Garcia and Billy Pissios respectively. Cecy Santana is a phenom. Her beauty and charisma are only equaled by her talent. The chemistry created by Santana, whether
with one of her many Brazilian ensembles or with her Afro-Celt Jazz Funk group The Lotus Kings, commands your attention. You can not deny this level of excellence in composition and performance.
Born into an enormously musical family and hailing from Sao Paulo, Santana learned from her famous Brazilian father Carlos Santana – legendary trumpeter, conductor, and first chair of both the Sao Paulo and Rio Symphony Orchestras. Cecy’s original music has been featured in
commercials and music conventions. She has performed with New Orleans powerhouse Galactic and has appeared with Fantasia Barrino, Carl Thomas, Roy Ayers, Musiq Soulchild,and Lil Wayne.
Cecy Santana is currently readying her debut solo album “Skyline” for release as well as the epic “Obrigada” written with Deacon Productions impresario and renaissance man Steven Kikoen of The Lotus Kings, with several other Kikoen/Santana projects in the works. Santana has released multiple music videos to date and plans to release several more to tie-in with “Obrigada.” Cecy will also be starring in a short film called “The Understudy” set for release during the 2019/2020 season. Cecy Santana & The Lotus Kings are poised to become the next major force in the ever-evolving art of music, theatre, and motion picture.
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