Paco de Lucia Passes Away
This morning I learned of the death of one my favorite flamenco guitarists, Paco de Lucia. I had the pleasure once of seeing him perform with Al Di Meola, Steve Morse and John McLaughlin. To me, he was a giant of flamenco and guitar. He will be missed. We were lucky to have had him.
Paco de Lucia, Renowned Flamenco Guitarist, Dies at 66
FEB. 26, 2014, 8:30 A.M. E.S.T.
MADRID — Paco de Lucia, the influential Spanish guitarist who vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco and merged it with other musical styles, died suddenly of a heart attack on Tuesday evening in Mexico.
The 66-year-old virtuoso, as happy playing seemingly impossible syncopated flamenco rhythms as he was improvising jazz or classical guitar, helped to legitimise flamenco in Spain itself at a time when it was shunned by the mainstream.
“I learned the guitar like a child learns to speak,” the guitarist said in a 2012 documentary.
Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, he became famous in the 1970s after recording the bestselling album “Entre Dos Aguas”, becoming the first flamenco musician to perform at Madrid’s opera house Teatro Real in 1975.
A spokesman for the city hall in Algeciras, where de Lucia was born, confirmed his death on Wednesday and said the city had decreed two days of official mourning.
Mexican authorities later said he had died on Tuesday at 7.15 local time while on holiday with his family on the Mexican Caribbean, after he was taken to a hospital complaining of pains in his chest.