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Gustavo A. Santaolalla (b. 1952, El Palomar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina) is an Academy Award winning Argentine musician, producer and composer whose musical style frequently combines elements of rock, soul, African rhythms and Latin American folk. He is now one of the most sought after producers in the Latin American scene.
Santaolalla's professional music career began in 1967 at the age of 16, when he co-founded the group Arco Iris, an Argentine band that pioneered the fusion of rock and Latin American folk as part of 'rock nacional'. The band was the most visible facet of a yogic commune guided by former model Danais Wynnycka (known as Dana) and her partner Ara Tokatlian. Gustavo wanted to escape the strict requirements of Dana's teachings (which forbid meat, alcohol and drugs, and mandated abstinence from sex) and left the group during 1975.
A year later, he assembled Soluna, in which he played alongside teenage pianist and singer Alejandro Lerner and his then-girlfriend Monica Campins. Together they recorded just one album (Energia Natural, 1977). Santaolalla left for Los Angeles, where he adopted a rock and roll sound and made the rounds ...