BBC announced that 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. R.I.P.!
Paco de Lucía, born Francisco Sánchez Gómez (21 December 1947 – 26 February 2014) was a Spanish flamenco guitarist, composer and producer. A leading proponent of the New Flamenco style, he was one of the first flamenco guitarists who has also successfully crossed over into other genres of music such as classical and jazz. Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a “titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar”, and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as “one of history’s greatest guitarists”.
De Lucía was noted for his innovation and colour in harmony and his remarkable dexterity, technique, strength and fluidity in his right hand, capable of executing extremely fast and fluent picados. A master of contrast, he often juxtaposes picados with rasgueados and other techniques and often adds abstract chords and scale tones to his compositions with jazz influences. These innovations saw him play a key role in the development of traditional Flamenco and the evolution of New Flamenco and Latin jazz fusion from the 1970s.
In 2004, he won the Prince of Asturias Awards in Arts and in 2010, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since 2004 he has greatly reduced his live performances in public, has retired from full touring, and now typically only gives several concerts a year, usually in Spain and Germany and at European festivals during the summer months. In 2005, he was nominated for producer of the year by the Latin Grammy Award for La Tana’s Tu, Ven a Mi album.
His latest album, “Cositas Buenas” featuring Paco de Lucía and directed by Paco de Lucía with the collaboration of Javier Limón was released in 2004.