Oye Como Va

Originally Performed ByTito Puente
Original AlbumEl Rey Bravo (1962)
Music/LyricsTito Puente
Phish Debut1993-08-28
Last Played1993-08-28
Current Gap978
HistorianEllis Godard


Written by Tito Puente but recorded and re-popularized by Carlos Santana, “Oye Como Va” is, much like “Low Rider,” the kind of tune that entered American consciousness without carrying along much of the Latino culture of its origins. If it had come along two decades later, no doubt it would have been paraded as heralding a widespread movement and recognition of a foreign rhythmic genre. Instead, its carriers slipped in and out of the charts without leaving a lasting image – at least not explicitly. (Redemption came for Santana years later in the form of multiple Grammys.)

Tito Puente "Oye Como Va" 1981, Lima, Peru

Similarly, the tune itself has slipped in and out of Phish history without leaving a complete impression. Teased during “Maze” once (4/25/92) and during “You Enjoy Myself ” dozens of times (including 12/7/923/14/93, and 5/2/93), Phish has yet to play the song in full. However, its appearance during one “YEM” (8/28/93), while less than complete, was much more than a tease: A full-on jam ensued during this tour-closing performance, with several measures in which the band is fully “in” the cover and a number more where some members are, while others waver into “typical” Phish jam space

Carlos Santana "Oye Como Va" 8/18/70

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