Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Music Lovers Mourn the Passing of Paco de Lucia

Back on Sunday, June 09, 2013. the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music presented a wonderful concert by Paco de Lucia. Now comes the sad news that the master of the Spanish guitar died in Mexico at the age of 66

Paco de Lucia dazzled audiences with his lightning-speed flamenco rhythms and finger work. Born Dec. 21, 1947, de Lucia — whose real name was Francisco Sanchez Gomez — was best-known for flamenco but also experimented with other genres of music. One of his most famous recordings was Friday Night in San Francisco, recorded with fellow guitarists John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola in 1981.

During the 1960s and 1970s, he formed an extremely popular duo with late flamenco singer legend Camaron de la Isla.

His 1973 rumba Entre Dos Aguas (Between Two Waters) became one of the most popular recordings in Spain.

De Lucia was awarded the Culture Ministry's Fine Arts Gold Medal in 1992 and the prestigious Prince of Asturias prize for the Arts in 2004.

A spokeswoman for the town hall of de Lucia's native Spanish town of Algeciras said de Lucia family members had told them the artist died of a heart attack. She said he began to feel unwell while on a beach in Cancun with his child and died while being taken to a local hospital.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as town hall regulations do not allow her to be identified publicly

Describing the death as unexpected and premature, Spanish Education and Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert said he was "a unique and unrepeatable figure."

Paco de Lucia was an inspiration to many Moroccan musicians including Fez oud and guitar player and coordinator of the ALC-ALIF Music Club, Hamza El Fasiki. who learned his guitar technique by watching video clips of of Paco's playing.

"His guitar has been silenced - he was my teacher, companion in music, a creative inspiration and motivation ... I feel sad" ~ Hamza El Fasiki.

Paco de Lucia signing Hamza's guitar in 2013

Hamza was saddened by Paco's early death. "I followed everything about the way he played - his philosophy, the way sat, His finger action, even the way he cut his nails. He will be sadly missed."

Paco's signature on Hamza's guitar

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