Paco de Lucia Leaves Us at 66

Paco de Lucia in Havana. October 2013.

HAVANA TIMES — Paco de Lucía was not only a reference for flamenco in Spain, he was a legend of world music long before his death in Mexico today.

Composer and master guitarist, he renewed flamenco, gave a special feeling to classical pieces and made an important contribution to Jazz.

Along with singer Camarón de la Isla, in the 10 years from 1969 to 1979 they brought new innovation to flamenco with different rhythms and harmonies. They managed to attract an audience beyond the traditional flamenco clubs, a heterogeneous audience that filled large halls to listen, notes Sara Barderas of dpa news.

His fingers interpreted classical pieces by Manuel de Falla and “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo as no other musician.

The combination of flamenco with jazz exploded on the music scene with a trio along with guitarists John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola. Their 1981 live concert and album “Friday Night In San Francisco” is considered by the experts as one of the great masterpieces.

Recently, in October 2013, Paco de Lucia performed at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana.

Paco de Lucía was born Francisco Sánchez Gómez on December 21, 1947 in Cadiz town of Algeciras, in southern Spain, in a humble family. From childhood he was studious and persevering in pursuit of his dream to be a great guitarist. He did it and went beyond. His death today ends an era in flamenco and world music.