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Crowds filled the Great American Music Hall for a memorial honoring legendary conguero Raul Rekow. A drum salute opened the evening of celebration and music while Rekow’s family and friends gave remembrances, and his extended family of musicians honored him with Afro-Cuban and Latin rock beats.

A San Francisco native, Rekow had a love of music from a young age and after attending a pre-fame Santana Blues band concert in 1967, he knew his passion: the drum. After years of practice—much spent with brother-in-music John Santos—he was given the chance to fulfill his dream and play with Santana, which he did from 1976 to 2013. Rekow went on to travel the world with Santana and teach the conga, but according to everyone who knew him, his heart was always with his family.

Rekow died on Nov. 1, 2015, after being diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer in August. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Diane, and three children: Raul Jr., Rafael and Marie-Danielle. To donate to the Rekow family go to: gofundme.com/raulrekow