The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Flamenco guitar legend Paco de Lucia, who modernized the gypsy tradition, dies at 66
Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía peforms at Las Palomas bull ring in Algeciras, the musician's native city in southern Spain, 09 September 2006. Spanish media announced on February 26, 2014 that de Lucia had died aged 66 in Mexico. AFP PHOTO / JOSE LUIS ROCA.

By: Veronica Ocampo

CANCUN (AFP).- Paco de Lucia, 66, the Spanish guitar virtuoso who brought flamenco to a world audience, has died of a heart attack while playing with his son on a Mexican beach.

Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, he was credited with modernizing the gypsy tradition of his native Andalusia, absorbing jazz and pop influences in a decades-long career.

He suffered a heart attack on Tuesday as he was playing football with his eight-year-old son near the Caribbean resort of Playa del Carmen, where he had a house, his manager Jose Emilio Navarro told AFP.

He lived in Cuba but had gone to Playa del Carmen with his wife and two children, Navarro said. His body is expected to be repatriated on Wednesday or Thursday, the manager and a Spanish diplomat said.

"Paco de Lucia's death turns his genius into a legend," said Jose Ignacio Landaluce, the mayor of his Spanish hometown of Algeciras.

"Although he has gone, his music, his wonderful way of playing and his character will always be with us," he said in a statement.

The town called three days of mourning and flew flags at half-mast for "the greatest guitarist of all time."

'Flamenco gives me strength'
Born into a humble family on December 21, 1947, de Lucia grew into a musical giant who blended jazz, pop and classical influences with the folk tradition of flamenco.

He said his father, a singer of gypsy origin, introduced him to music and encouraged him to practice for hours.

"The gypsies are better since they listen to music from birth. If I had not been born in my father's house I would be nobody. I don't believe in spontaneous genius," the guitarist once said.

From the age of 12 de Lucia was out playing and earning at flamenco "tablaos" -- the intimate bars that are home to the authentic form of the tragic gypsy lament and dancing.

He had no formal musical training, but by 15 he had moved to Madrid and by 18 brought out his first album.

It was there that he met another gifted teenage flamenco artist, the singer Camaron de la Isla, then just 15 and freshly arrived in Madrid.

The two young men formed a legendary flamenco partnership, touring and recording together until Camaron's death in 1992.

In the 1980s de Lucia also teamed up with guitarists John McLaughlin and Al di Meola to produce the classic album "Friday night in San Francisco."

He branched out into jazz and bossa nova, drawing the scorn of traditionalists.

But he claimed to stay faithful to his origins, hunched over his guitar and grimacing with emotion as the flamenco "duende", or spirit, possessed him.

"Whatever I do my sound will always be flamenco -- because I am what I am," he said. "Being a flamenco player is what gives me strength."

'Universal' flamenco artist
In 2004, de Lucia was awarded Spain's prestigious Asturias Prize for the Arts as the "most universal of flamenco artists."

"His art has made him into one of the best ambassadors of Spanish culture in the world," the jury said at the time.

He had lived elsewhere in Spain and in Mexico and toured the world.

Tributes on Wednesday included Twitter messages from international stars such as the Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, who mourned "a musical genius."

Spain's royal family sent telegrams of condolence, the palace said. The country's culture minister Jose Ignacio Wert called de Lucia "a unique and unrepeatable figure."

Spain's General Society of Authors and Editors hailed him as an "absolute master with the best flamenco touch of all time."

"Paco lived the life he wanted and died while playing with his children by the sea," his family said in a statement.

"He filled this world with beauty and now he has been taken away."

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

February 27, 2014

Rare 'Mein Kampf' copies signed by Hitler to be auctioned at Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Major exhibition at National Portrait Gallery launches First World War centenary

"Abbott and Marville: The City in Transition" opens at Howard Greenberg Gallery

McNay Art Museum in San Antonio adds early Cubist painting by Albert Gleizes to collection

Exhibition of new work by artist Taryn Simon opens at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills

Historic donation to the Moderna Museet by publisher Gerard Bonnier's widow

Flamenco guitar legend Paco de Lucia, who modernized the gypsy tradition, dies at 66

Retrospective highlights work of one of most sought-after portrait painters of America's Gilded Age

Numinous: Exhibition of new works by Andrés Ferrandis opens at Ruiz-Healy Art in San Antonio

Former Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Director Martin E. Sullivan, 1944-2014

The Artistry of the Guitar: One of the world's finest collections of acoustic guitars to be auctioned

Claude & Francois-Xavier Lalanne exhibit at Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong

Shelburne Museum in Vermont names Jeff Bundy as new Director of Development

Sunday Paintings: Mary Henderson exhibits at Lyons Wier Gallery

Scott Campbell's "The Smartest Things I Ever Did were Foolish Things for Love" opens in St. Moritz

President Kennedy's bottle of Haig & Haig Pinch Scotch to be auctioned

Boomoon's debut United Kingdom exhibition opens at Flowers gallery

Spanish painter Juan Usle's black paintings on view in Germany for the first time

Exhibition of recent furniture pieces by the Brussels-based Ateliers J&J opens at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen

Major private collection of Scottish born Russell Flint paintings to be auctioned

They sing a song only you can hear: Sophie Bueno-Boutellier opens exhibition at The Approach

First solo exhibition by Klara Kristalova in New York opens at Galerie Perrotin

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful