Paco de Lucia died last night whilst on holidays with his family in Mexico. He was 66.
Together with the great vocalist Camarón de la Isla, Paco is -was- considered to be the leading light of flamenco, and the reason it firmly took its place on the world stage alongside Jazz or bossa nova.
He was known as de Lucia for his Portuguese mother. There are a lot of Pacos on the streets of Spain, and to stand out you need a twist.
He won his first competition at the age of 12, when he performed in Jerez with his brother Pepe, calling themselves Los Chiquitos de Algeciras and shortly afterwards recorded his first LP. Months later, he was touring the USA with José Greco. Times were different back then.
The German managerial duo Horst Lippmann & Fritz Rau spotted him and snapped him up a few years later. He was on his way to becoming an international superstar. That’s when he met Cameron, and the two returned to Madrid to firmly establish flamenco as the music it is today.
More on his extensive English Wikipedia page.
It is another nail in the coffin of the old Spain, as yet another master is taken from us, and the traditional sounds of Spain are replaced even more by the bland Europop of today.
Here he is from 1976 showing off playing entre dos aguas.