National, Profiles

Paco de Lucía has died at the age of 66

The Spanish guitarist suffered a heart attack while playing with his grand-children on a beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Wed Feb 26, 2014 - 12:06
An intimate friend of the artist, Vicoriano Mera, has said Lucía started to feel indisposed. He was taken to a health centre but nothing could be done to save his life.

pacodelucia.jpg
Paco de Lucía - EFE


The Town Hall in Algeciras is arranging the possible return of his body, in contact with the family. He was born in the Cádiz town on Decvember 21 1947.

By his Portuguese mother he was always known as ‘Paco, el de Lucía’ just as in Andalucía the son takes the name of the mother.

The flamenco guitarist won the Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts, and together with Cameron de la Isla, a singer who often accompanied Paco de Lucía, the two men renovated the sound of flamenco and took that sound around the world.

He has won many prizes including the National Prize for a Guitar in art Flamenco, the Bellas Artes Gold Medal for Merit, and the Honourable Distinction in the Premios de la Música.

A disciple of Little Richard, with a respect for the music of jazz, rock and blues gave Paco a personal and attractive style and the 2004 Grammy for the best flamenco album.

He was seven when he picked up his first guitar, a present from his father, and by the age of 12 he had formed a duo, ‘Los Chiquitos de Algeciaras’ with his older brother Pepe al cante, and who triumphed in 1961 in a competition in Jerez and when he recorded his first record.

He was contracted by the dancer, José Greco in 1960 and became the third guitarist in the Spanish Classical Ballet Company with whom he made his first tour of the United States.

The performances which are considered to be his best were in the Palau in Barcelona in 1970 and the Teatro Real and the Teatro Monumental in Madrid in 1975. His first live recording took place in the Teatro Real, which became his first gold record.

It was then the mythical pair of El Camerón-De Lucía, two pure virtuosos who made ten studio albums together.

He won the Gold Prize in the Las Minas Festival in 1975 and had a best selling single in 1976 with his rumba ‘Entre Dos Aguas’ .

In 1981 he formed his first sextet and was a pioneer in such flamenco groups. He collaborated in the album ‘Potro de Rabia y Miel’ with his grand friend Camerón. After his death in 1992, Paco cancelled all his performances for almost a year, even considering retirement.

A year later he returned with a European tour and gave 40 recital concerts in the United States where he recorded, ‘Live in America’.

A five year silence ended in 2004 when ‘Cositas Buenas’ was published and qualified by the critics as the work of a maestro and which contained eight unedited songs, with a trio with the guitarist Tomatito and the recovered voice of Camerón which brought him a Latin Grammy.

In 2011 he recorded a traditional flamenco disc with the upcoming singer Miguel Poveda and in the same year he was the main singer in an album of boleros. He was made Favourite Son in the Cádiz Province in 1997 and in Algeciras in 1998 and he obtained a doctor honoris causa from Berklee College in Boston in 2010.

Recently the guitarist lived in Toledo and spent periods in Cancun which he practiced underwater fishing. His first marriage in 1977 to Casilda Verela in Amsterdam brought three children, Casilda, Lucia and Francisco.





Paco De Lucia - Live at 31st leverkusener Jazztage 2010

Entire concert

In an interview in Público newspaper in 2008 he said
‘La guitarra es una hija de puta’.


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