Benny Rietveld

Santana bassist and MD shares his thoughts on the power of the bass

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
September 9, 2019

By David Sands

Benny Rietveld , currently the bassist and musical director for Santana, has experienced a musical journey that’s nothing short of riveting. A native of the Netherlands, Rietveld spent his formative years in Honolulu. He started playing the piano at six and later picked up bass and drums. During high school, Rietveld was mentored by Henry Miyamura, a renowned clarinetist and Director of the University of Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. His professional career kicked off while he was studying music at the University of Hawaii, and work on the island’s tourist circuit soon led to work with acts like The Crusaders, Barney Kessell, Bill Mays and Makoto Ozone. In 1983, Rietveld moved to San Francisco where he found soon found work with Sheila E. playing bass on a tour where she opened for Prince.  After that he gigged with Huey Lewis and the News and later joined forces with Miles Davis to play the jazz icon’s 1988 World Tour and to work on the 1991 film Dingo, which featured Davis and his band. Reitveld first joined Santana for a two-year stint in 1990 and has been with the band in his current capacity since 1997. He’s also released the solo album, Mystery of Faith.

FBPO’s Jon Liebman recently caught up with Rietveld for a conversation that covered recent developments with Santana, moving thoughts on the significance of the bass and some exciting projects he’s been cooking up.

Watch our interview with Benny!         


See Jon’s blog, with key takeaways from this interview, here.

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