We mourn the loss of my brother, Raul Rekow. He was an integral member of Santana for 34 years and the heart beat of the band. His presence on the stage was one of power, grace, collaboration and joy. He redefined what it means to be a conga player. My heart goes out to his family. Raul, may you soar in heaven in the company of your Mom and Dad.This picture was also posted on his own Facebook:
Rekow took up playing the congas after seeing an early Santana at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. After learning the instrument, he joined the Bay Area group Soul Sacrifice which specialized in covering Santana music.
In the early-70's, he became the percussionist for the group Malo, headed by Carlos Santana's brother Jorge, who had the 1972 hit Suavecito. He later joined the Latin fusion act Sapo before he got the call from Santana's management to see if he would like to join the band.
Except for two years in the late-80's, Rekow was a member of Santana until two years ago.
Along with his long stint with the band, he also played on recordings by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Herbie Hancock and released his own CD and instructional DVD.