The world is mourning the passing, this week, of one of the world’s greatest flamenco guitarist, Paco de Lucia.
De Lucia, 66, died suddenly of a heart attack while vacationing in Mexico with his family. He will be given state honors in his native Algeciras, Spain with a public wake and memorial. His long career started when he was just 11-years-old and took him all over the world including Carnegie Hall. The self-taught musician is credited with revolutionizing flamenco guitar music by infusing different influences, including salsa and bossa nova, into his music and taking it outside of Spain to the rest of the world. His song “Between Two Waters” (Entre dos Aguas) is one of the most recognized Spanish classical guitar pieces in the world. Others consider “Friday Night in San Francisco” with John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola his greatest recording.
De Lucia, who was born Francisco Sanchez Gomes, worked with some of the greatest flamenco guitarists including Jose Greco. De Lucia music can be found in the soundtracks of several Spanish movies including ‘Carmen.’ His talents and music served as a great influence on other musicians who remembered him kindly.
“The Maestro King of Gypsy Flamenco Music is in heaven NOW,” tweeted Carlos Santana. Alejandro Sanz noted “A genius has left us “PacoLives.” Chick Corea praised de Lucia, “inspired me in the construction of my own musical world as much as Miles Davis and John Coltrane.” Julio Iglesias probably said it best, “One of the greatest emblems of Spanish art has left us.”
The Spanish legend was working on his 30th album before he died. That album ‘Canciones Andaluzas’ will be released in April. He received his first Latin Grammy in 2004 and another in 2012 for his “En Vivo” live recording.