21 December 1947
Algeciras, Cádiz, Andalucía, Spain
25 February 2014 (aged 66)
Paco de Lucía was a pseudonym of Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist Francisco Sánchez Gómez (b. 21 Dec 1947 in Algeciras, Cádiz, Spain - d. 26 Feb 2014). He was considered a master of rasgueados / picados and was capable of playing with blinding speed on the flamenco guitar.
He was the youngest of five children, the son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez, and brother of flamenco singer Pepe de Lucía and flamenco guitarist Ramón de Algeciras, he adopted the stage name Paco de Lucía in honor of his Portuguese mother, Lucía Gomes.
In 1958, at age 11, de Lucía made his first public appearance on Radio Algeciras, and a year later he was awarded a special prize in the Jerez flamenco competition. In 1961, he toured with the flamenco troupe of dancer José Greco. In 1964, de Lucía met Madrilenian guitarist Ricardo Modrego with whom he recorded three albums: Dos guitarras flamencas, Dos guitarras flamencas en stereo, and 12 canciones de Garcia Lorca para guitarra. Between 1968 and 1977, he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with fellow New Flamenco innovator Camarón de la Isla. The two recorded 10 albums together.
In 1979, de Lucía, John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell formed "The Guitar Trio" and together made a brief tour of Europe and released a video recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall entitled Meeting of Spirits. Coryell was later replaced by Al Di Meola, and since 1981, the trio have recorded three albums under that line-up. His own band, the Paco de Lucía Sextet (which includes his brothers Ramón and Pepe) released the first of their three albums that same year. He has released several albums encompassing both traditional and modern flamenco styles. Through his wide discography he has given rise to a new way of understanding flamenco and has advanced the technical and musical boundaries of his instrument. The University of Cadiz recognized de Lucía's musical and cultural contributions by conferring on him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa on March 23, 2007.
Until asked to perform and interpret Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in 1991, de Lucía was not proficient at reading musical notation. As a flamenco guitarist, de Lucía claimed in Paco de Lucía. Light and Shade: A Portrait that he gave greater emphasis to rhythmical accuracy in his interpretation of the Concierto at the expense of the perfect tone preferred by classical guitarists. Joaquín Rodrigo declared that no one had ever played his composition in such a brilliant manner.
Paco de Lucía died on 26 Feb 2014 due to a heart attack. He was 66 years old.
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