The musician, 68, on Woodstock, being discriminated against at school and making people cry with one note
Music is in my blood. My father was a mariachi musician. He played the old Tijuana sound. I started learning the violin when I was five and when we moved to Tijuana from Jalisco, I started listening to be-bop, rock’n’roll, T-Bone Walker, BB King and John Lee Hooker. Their music was an education for me.
After Woodstock, there was no turning back. I guess something happened in my head while I was in Tijuana because when I moved to California, it all fused together. After feeling discriminated against at high school, I had a flowering of creativity in San Francisco. I drew on my Latino roots, plus the roots of all the other music: the soul and jazz, the blues and funk.