Credit: Maryanne BilhamCarlos Santana, The Isley BrothersRonnie and Ernie Isley, and Carlos’ wife and band mate Cindy Blackman Santana were at New York City’s famed Electric Lady Studios on Tuesday to celebrate Santana and The Isleys’ just-released collaborative album, Power of Peace. The invite-only event featured a Q&A conducted by respected music writer Alan Light, during which the musicians shared their admiration for each other while gushing about the new project.

Carlos explained that he’d been a fan of Ronnie’s singing since he first heard The Isley Brothers in the early ’60s.

“[Ronnie] sculptures notes,” said Carlos. “[W]hen you sculpture something like glass, you’ve got to have something…really hot, to melt the glass from sand into something beautiful like glass. Well, he’s got this hot spirit.”

Ronnie used his soulful vocal talents to help create fresh, unique takes on a variety cover tunes for Power of Peace, including Stevie Wonder‘s “Higher Ground,” Marvin Gaye‘s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and Billie Holiday‘s “God Bless the Child.”

As Carlos explained, the songs were chosen to reflect positive themes in contrast to the negative political climate in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.

“This planet…is very much infected with fear everywhere, with lack of integrity,” he maintained during the Q&A. “And so we felt we needed to come together like superheroes and come and rescue this place…that so intensely needs medicine to heal itself from fear and division and separation.”

Ronnie described working on the album as “an unexplainable experience” and “so much fun.”

Isleys guitarist Ernie Isley, meanwhile, said getting to play guitar alongside Carlos in the studio was “pure joy,” while noting that he believes “music lovers [will] discover [Power of Peace] and rediscover it for generations to come.”

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