On August 16, 1969, before hundreds of thousands of fans at the Woodstock Festival, a fresh-faced 20-year-old behind a 4-piece silver sparkle kit mesmerized the audience and stole the show. That drummer was Michael Shrieve, the song was “Soul Sacrifice” and the band was Santana. As the original drummer for Santana, Shrieve helped create the group’s first eight albums and reunited with the original band in 2016 perform and record a new album, Santana IV, featuring two of his original songs.
His tenure with the group has resulted in his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, however his career is much more varied and influential than his accomplishments with this single band. From his performances on nearly two dozen albums, to composition credits on nine albums and work as a producer on three more, Michael Shrieve’s influence and impact has been significant.
Carlos Santana said this of Shrieve, “I owe Michael a lot; He's the one who turned me onto John Coltrane and Miles Davis. I just wanted to play blues until Michael came. He opened my eyes and my ears and my heart to a lot of things. Some drummers only have chops, but Michael Shrieve has vision.”