Paco De Lucia, was a world renowned guitar player who dazzled audiences with his lightning-speed flamenco rhythms and finger work, has died in Mexico, officials said Wednesday.
The Spanish guitar player suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Mexico at a the Caribbean beach resort of Playa del Carmen and he was rushed to the hospital were he died.
Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” said a statement from his family published on the websites of Spanish newspapers.
His family and friends are calling his death premature and unexpected; Paco was a unique perosn with an unrepeatably personality and he will be dearly missed one of his friends told reporters.
Paco’s real name was Francisco Sanchez Gomez, he was an extremely popular flamenco guitarist, but he experimented with and enjoyed playing all types of music. His most famous recordings was “Friday Night in San Francisco,” recorded with fellow guitarists John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola in 1980.
Flamenco guitarists play the guitar slightly different from a classical guitar, using different posture, strumming patterns, and techniques. Flamenco guitar players are known as tocaores and flamenco guitar technique is known as toque. This style of guitar playing produces a raspier and harsher sound when the guitarist strikes the cords.
De Lucia produced numerous award winning and popular recordings throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. His latest album “Cositas buenas” (Good Things) won him a Latin Grammy in 2004.
Paco De Lucia came from a poor background and fell in love with music at early age. He learned to play guitar with his father and brothers and when his formal schooling was over at the young age of 11, Paco started playing flamenco in the local bars.
I didn’t study music. I literally lived it. Flamenco was a way of life, a relationship with music, more than a career. I never learned about harmony or canons in music,” he said.
He is arguably the most influential flamenco artist to have ever lived, blending new life into the traditional form of flamenco music and is credited with modernizing it by introducing influences from other musical forms such as jazz, bossa nova, classical and salsa.
Paco inspired musicians around the world to construct new fresh styles of music that touches the hearts of people around the world.
Paco De Lucia World Renowned Flamenco Guitar Player Dies.
The Associated Press Contributed to this story.