World renowned and hugely respected flamenco guitar player Paco de Lucia has died at the age of 66. Yesterday the BBC released the sad news of his passing along with a tribute to the man and his music. Like many “progressive music fans” I first discovered Paco de Lucia when he performed with John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola on the now legendary Friday Night In San Francisco album.
Extract from the BBC Report: World-renowned Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia has died aged 66 in Mexico, reportedly of a heart attack while playing with his children on a beach.
The death of one of the most celebrated flamenco guitarists was announced by the mayor’s office in Algeciras, southern Spain, where he was born.
He is said to have died in the Mexican resort of Cancun.
Famous for a series of flamenco albums in the 1970s, he also crossed over into classical and jazz guitar.
He also worked on films by Spanish director Carlos Saura, notably appearing in his 1983 version of Carmen, which won a UK Bafta award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1985.
Algeciras is to hold two days of official mourning. Its mayor, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, called the musician’s death an “irreparable loss for the world of culture and for Andalusia”.
He had lived both in Mexico and in Spain in recent years.
Paying tribute to a “very special musician”, fellow Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco Pena, 71, told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row: “Once in a while someone comes along in a musical discipline who changes everything, who sees things that others have not seen up to that point, and Paco de Lucia was one of these people.
“After him, flamenco radically changed and the proof is that so many young people have taken his lead and now flamenco is full of that virtuosity.”
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