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Santana says of new documentary, ‘This Carlos guy, he’s all right’

The documentary “Carlos” is under development. The feature-length project is all about Carlos Santana.

The rock legend has seen the film. A song sprung to mind. But not one of his own.

“When I first saw it, I started singing that Ringo (Starr) song, ‘Theeeeyr’e gonna put me in the movies,’” Santana sang, taking from the Beatles’ cover of Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally.” “… All I have to do is be natural. So I told myself, ‘Whatever you do, don’t cry in your own movie, man.’”

Santana returns to House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on Wednesday and this weekend, continuing May 24 and May 26-28. He’s also booked for several dates in September and November.

The “Carlos” doc premieres June 17 at a Tribeca Film Festival event at Beacon Theatre in New York. The project is backed by rock stars of the film industry, Sony Pictures Classics and Emmy-winning director Rudy Valdez (“The Sentence,” “We Are: The Brooklyn Saints”).

The film charts Santana’s rise as a teenage guitar virtuoso playing on the streets of the Bay Area, through his breakthrough Woodstock performance to his rise as a 10-time Grammy winner. A release date for the documentary has not yet been set.

The Las Vegas resident headliner, and also resident, conveys a spiritual, world view that has been inherent his entire life. His House of Blues set list has been propelled by long jams that knit his greatest hits (“Black Magic Woman,” “Soul Sacrifice” “Oye Como Va” and “Smooth” in the mix) along with some unexpected covers. Nigerian artist Babatunde Olatuni’s “Jin-go-lo-ba” shares a show with “Venus,” adapted from Shocking Blue in 1969 (and Bananarama in the 1980s).

The front man, fans and band are on the same trip at a Santana show.

“Ever since I was a child, I have had a pursuance to center stage, the epicenter, bringing together Irish, Japanese, Apaches, Africans,” Santana says, interlocking his hands. “There are not many bands that can do that.”

Santana is planning to jam at the “Carlos” premiere next month. The film gives the 75-year-old superstar the rare opportunity to view his life from the outside.

“I look at it from the third-person, and I go, ‘You know what? Looking at this movie, this Carlos guy, he’s all right, man,’” Santana says, grinning. “There’s a reason why my mom and dad are proud of me, where they are, and even when they were here.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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