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Paco De Lucia, Modern Superstar Of Flamenco, Dies
NPR ^ | February 26, 2014 | Felix Contreras

Posted on 02/27/2014 1:54:10 PM PST by nickcarraway

Paco de Lucia, considered by his fans and critics to be the world's greatest flamenco guitarist, died Wednesday in Mexico of a heart attack. The 66-year-old musician was a modern superstar in a Roma, or Gypsy, tradition that is hundreds of years old.

To the world's flamenco fans, de Lucia's story is well-known. He was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez in 1947 and was exposed to the flamenco culture in his home of Andalusia, the cradle of Roma tradition in southern Spain. His father and two of his brothers were flamenco musicians and inspired him to take up the guitar at age 7. He played his first public performance at age 11 and made his first record when he was just 15.

What's also well-known is that de Lucia was not Roma — which makes his early accomplishments all the more extraordinary.

In a 2004 interview he told me that, as a child, he didn't know the difference. "I didn't have a consciousness about Gypsy and non-Gypsy because my childhood life was very mixed," he explained, speaking through a translator. "Later, when I was older, I understood the difference, but not as a child. I knew I wasn't a Gypsy, but I was living in that same culture and philosophy and way of life since the day I was born."

Traditional flamenco is a singer's art; the guitarist is normally just an accompanist. In the late 1960s, de Lucia met a young Roma singer from Andalusia named Jose Monge Cruz, who called himself Camarón de la Isla. For almost a decade the two shook up the sometimes staid world of traditional flamenco by pushing the voice-and-guitar combination as far as it could go.

YouTube By this point, Francisco had become Paco and taken his mother's maiden name for his performances. While he was still performing with Camarón de la Isla, he released his breakout recording as a soloist. The album, Entre Dos Aguas, hit the Spanish Top 20.

De Lucia's use of jazz and other non-Roma influences in his music often raised the eyebrows of traditionalists. It also attracted the attention of jazz guitarists Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin, who invited him to form a trio that allowed de Lucia to indulge his jazz passions without traditionalists looking over his shoulder.

Spanish flamenco guitarist Tomatito joined Dominican pianist Michel Camilo on the Latin Grammy Award-winning Spain. A Blog Supreme Flamenco Jazz: Five Songs Where Andalusia And America Meet By then, de Lucia was a full-blown superstar, who went on to create a style that many say moved the music forward and influenced an entire generation of flamenco musicians.

"My flamenco is not a fusion," he said in 2004. "I have always been careful that it doesn't lose the essence and the roots and the tradition of what is flamenco. I have incorporated other things, but things that have not altered the philosophy of the music. I have as my only interest in all this to grow as a musician who plays flamenco, and not to bring things that some way or another change the identity of this music."

Paco de Lucia created a place for himself in flamenco history that reached back to his earliest days in Andalusia, while always looking forward.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: obituary; pacodelucia
Why the death of Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia has touched so many
1 posted on 02/27/2014 1:54:10 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

He was my inspiration. RIP.


2 posted on 02/27/2014 1:55:09 PM PST by Samogon (Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato)
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To: nickcarraway

Oh, too bad! We have some great recordings he made.


3 posted on 02/27/2014 1:59:12 PM PST by Tax-chick (I've forgotten most of those languages, but I remember the joke.)
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To: nickcarraway
a young Roma singer from Andalusia named Jose Monge Cruz, who called himself Camarón de la Isla.

"Island Shrimp"? Sounds like a rapper moniker.

4 posted on 02/27/2014 2:00:52 PM PST by Tax-chick (I've forgotten most of those languages, but I remember the joke.)
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To: nickcarraway

Condolences to family, friends and inspirations of Paco de Lucia,


5 posted on 02/27/2014 2:04:58 PM PST by PGalt
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To: nickcarraway
This is a real shame. I saw him play with John McLaughlin and Al di Meola many years ago. By the end, the general consensus was that De Lucia was the best guitarist up there and he got the biggest ovation.

RIP.

6 posted on 02/27/2014 2:22:36 PM PST by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: Samogon

What an incredible talent. Too young. Prayers for him and his family.


7 posted on 02/27/2014 2:35:40 PM PST by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Dr. Thorne

You saw that live?! Wow, am I ever jealous! The album is one of my all-time favorites.

RIP, Paco - and thank you.


8 posted on 02/27/2014 2:41:17 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: nickcarraway

I noticed on the link there is a picture of Chick Corea - has he ever lost some weight - I hope he is ok and just got into fitness or something like that.

Mel


9 posted on 02/27/2014 2:45:02 PM PST by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: nickcarraway

How sad. He was a truly great guitarist.


10 posted on 02/27/2014 2:50:20 PM PST by stop_fascism (The USA needs a second party.)
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To: nickcarraway

Watching this is as hispanic as I ever was:

A Shot in the Dark — Peter Sellers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcWaXdULKJo


11 posted on 02/27/2014 2:59:30 PM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: nickcarraway

RIP.


12 posted on 02/27/2014 5:14:11 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Tax-chick

Was the third member of their trio named “Carlos el Atún”?


13 posted on 03/01/2014 6:37:24 AM PST by nonsporting
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To: nonsporting

LOL! Maybe he played the cajon with his fins ... a novelty act.


14 posted on 03/01/2014 6:40:28 AM PST by Tax-chick (Lost to headquarters.)
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To: nickcarraway

Entre Dos Aguas (confluence of two streams) — there was some blending of styles going in there.


15 posted on 03/01/2014 6:41:08 AM PST by nonsporting
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