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The Gregg Rolie Band Kicks Off Spencer Theater's 2012 Summer Season in NM Tonight, 5/26

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The Gregg Rolie Band kicks-off the Spencer Theater's 15th Summer Season of shows tonight, May 26 at 8 p.m. Packed with festival feel, this will be an outdoor concert packed with Santana hits and hefty riffs of era favorites. Enjoy lawn seating ($49) and table seating ($59). Outdoor cash bar service will be available, as will a pre-show Enchilada Buffet ($20) starting at 6 p.m. Bring blankets or chairs. Call the Box Office at 575.336.4800 or go to www.spencertheater.com for tickets.

Gregg Rolie is a constant and steady force in the evolution of rock & roll -- that heart-throbbing, shoulder-shimmeying genre of music that's captivated listeners for over 50 years. Together with Carlos Santana's searing electric guitar work, it was Gregg Rolie's compelling baritone and keyboards in "Black Magic Woman" that sent the historic tune's intoxicating rhythms to the tops of music charts around the world. That was in 1968, just one year after Rolie & Santana co-founded the Santana Blues Band, a wave-cutting formation that seized the massive Woodstock crowd with its epic sound.

The music world was never quite the same. Prior to Rolie & Santana joining forces, there had never been such a Latin-Blues infused rock & roll sound on the airwaves. The band, which thereafter shortened its name to Santana, carved the way.

Rolie was also the writer and arranger, lead singer, keyboardist & organist of the equally definitive Santana masterworks "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va" and "No One To Depend On." His amazing vocals and extensive riffs -- together with Santana's mind-blowing guitar and fellow band members' percussion, timbales & congas -- thrust melodies like "Soul Savor" "Jingo" and "Europa" into the realm of musical perfection.

Rolie, whose storied career includes founding and performing as lead singer and keyboardist in five multi-platinum, critically acclaimed rock bands of the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s (Santana, Journey, The Storm & Abraxas Pool), was a key component in the success of Santana during its hit making years of 1968-1971, a feat that helped prompt his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Rolie's latest incarnation, The Gregg Rolie Band, which he formed in 2006, is yet another incredible brew of industry greats. The group is kind of like a Who's Who of the rock world: bassist Gary Brown, a fellow Santana alumni who has also toured & recorded with Steve Windwood, Dianne Reeves, & Lou Rawles; timbalist Adrian Areas (son of original Santana percussionist Jose Chepito Areas); drummer Ron Wikso (who was also in The Storm) and whose career includes performances with Cher, Foreigner and David Lee Roth; keyboardist Wally Minko, who's toured & recorded with Jean Luc Ponty, The Chieftains, Pink, Barry Manilow & Tom Jones; guitar virtuoso Rocket Ritchotte, who recorded & toured with Steppenwolf, Rick Springfield & Foreigner, and who can be heard on hit TV show soundtracks "Friends" & "Promised Land;" percussionist (drums, congas) Elliot "Toby" Borrero, a highly accomplished percussionist who has played the full spectrum of Afro-Caribbean music, and Rolie's stellar vocals & keyboards.

Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is located at 108 Spencer Rd., Airport Highway 220, Alto, N.M.

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