Yesterday was a sad day for the guitar community. While on vacation in Mexico, legendary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died of a sudden heart attack. He was 66. A spokesman for the city hall in Algeciras, where de Lucia was born, confirmed his death on Wednesday and said the city had decreed two days of official mourning.
Mexican authorities later confirmed the guitarist had died on Tuesday at 7:15 local time while on holiday with his family along the Mexican Caribbean. Prior to his death, he was taken to a hospital complaining of pains in his chest.
De Lucia is attributed with revolutionizing flamenco by fusing jazz and classical music. Many fans will recall the acclaimed recordings and performances with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin. Traditional flamenco fan will recall his albums, El Duende Flamenco de Paco de Lucia and Almoraima.
Wherever Lucia performed, he left audiences in awe with his ability to improvise complex syncopated flamenco patterns on the guitar with speed, virtuosity and grace. Technically, Lucia was largely untouched. Few players, if any at all, have been able to match the mastery and poise that de Lucia brought to the guitar.
Personally, he influenced how I approached learning flamenco or classical pieces that were inspired by flamenco music. Several of his recordings are part of my collection.
He is a guitar legend that will be missed. Hands down, one of the greatest guitarists ever.
, I’ve found a collection of videos featuring some incredible performances, which I’ve included below.