Credit: Maryanne BilhamCarlos Santana has teamed up with two of the greatest living jazz musicians, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Herbie Hancock, in a new jazz-rock collective called Mega Nova that will give its debut performance on Wednesday, August 24, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The group also features respected jazz bassist Marcus Miller and Carlos’ wife/current Santana drummer, Cindy Blackman Santana.

The guitar legend tells Rolling Stone that the project was his idea, and was inspired by Shorter’s acclaimed 1969 fusion album Super Nova. Before the group actually existed, Carlos reveals, he asked the other musicians “if it was OK for me to start a rumor that we were going to do something together, and they said, ‘Of course.’ So I started a rumor, and here we are.”

Shorter, Hancock and Miller all have played with late jazz giant Miles Davis, one of Santana’s musical heroes, and Carlos tells Rolling Stone that he considers it “a real blessing” that the project has come to fruition.

While Santana obviously is the leader of his own group, he says he’ll very much be a team player in Mega Nova.

“It starts with surrender,” he explains. “I immediately defer to [Shorter and Hancock], and I wait my turn to see when they invite me to come up with something. I’m very honored and grateful that they trust me.”

While the Hollywood Bowl concert is Mega Nova’s only confirmed show, Santana tells the magazine that he’d like to someday tour with the group and spread its positive, unifying message.

“I want to be able to travel with this band eventually, and be the peace ambassadors,” he maintains, “which is what Louis Armstrong used to be, and what I would say Bob Marley or John Lennon represented.”

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