Heavily influential & popular flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack on Feb 26th in Mexico. The Spanish virtuoso, who vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco and merged it with other musical styles, was 66 years old. A leading proponent of the New Flamenco style, he helped legitimize flamenco among the establishment in Spain, and 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.
Some of his best known recordings include Río Ancho (later fused with Al Di Meola’s Mediterranean Sundance), Entre dos aguas, La Barrosa, Ímpetu,Cepa Andaluza and Gloria al Niño Ricardo. His collaborations with guitarists John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Larry Coryell in the late 1970s saw him gain wider popularity outside his native Spain. De Lucía formed the Paco de Lucía Sextet in 1981 with his brothers, singer Pepe de Lucía and guitarist Ramón de Algeciras, and collaborated with jazz pianist Chick Corea on their 1990 album, Zyryab. In 1992, he performed live at Expo ’92 in Seville and a year later on the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. Starting in 2004 he greatly reduced his public performances, retiring from full touring, and typically gave several concerts a year, usually in Spain and Germany and at European festivals during the summer months. In 1995, he and Bryan Adams recorded the hit song and video Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman on the soundtrack for the American film Don Juan DeMarco.
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.
Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomes aka Paco de Lucia (21 December 1947 – 26 February 2014)