Photo: Paco de Lucia
One of the best guitarists of all time, the Spaniard Paco de Lucia, returned to Brazil after being away for 16 years and in Rio de Janeiro gave a two-hour recital of his own particular brand of fusion flamenco, with the song “Entre Dos Aguas” as the climax of the night.
Elegant and refined, he appeared Friday evening with a shy smile on his face and greeted the crowd politely. Onstage, just he and his guitar. The applause was unanimous and he didn’t have to strum a note to convince the audience, who already knew that if it was Paco, it was bound to be good.
Sold out weeks before were the 2,400 tickets to the Municipal Theater of Rio, inaugurated in 1909 and undoubtedly the most magnificent venue in Rio to enjoy a concert like this.
For the first two numbers, the musician needed no one else onstage and that charmed the audience.
But whoever thought the concert would stay that way was in for a surprise. After the second song the rest of the group joined the recital: percussionist Israel Suarez alias “El Piraña,” guitarist Antonio Sanchez, flamenco singers “Rubio de Pruna” and “David de Jacoba,” the Cuban Alain Perez on bass and keyboardist Antonio Serrano, whose exquisite harmony provided the backup.
When the dancers appeared, the night became a flamenco fiesta, and the Brazilians were enjoying Spain’s signature folk music at its finest.
Even so, with so much celebrating, it seemed that Paco de Lucia forgot to play his most renowned song. The Brazilians had to wait for the “encore” to hear “Entre Dos Aguas.” The applause was monumental and made it last for more than 10 minutes.
Every minute was spectacular and after the show had gone on for two hours, the guitarist from Algeciras bid Rio de Janeiro farewell, on a night when a tiny bit of Brazil became the most beautiful Andalusia imaginable.