Thursday, February 27, 2014

TRIBUTE: Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía

Paco de Lucia

We're deeply saddened by the loss of Spanish flamenco giant Paco de Lucía, who suddenly passed at 66 yesterday in Mexico. We last heard de Lucía at his sold out Paramount Theatre (Oakland) performance as part of the 2012 SFJAZZ Spring Season. A true legend, he will be missed dearly.

De Lucía was largely unknown in the U.S. until the recording Friday Night In San Francisco, a sensational 1981 acoustic showdown with jazz stars John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola, that cemented his status as a guitar hero. He made acclaimed appearances on records by Chick Corea and others in the ‘80s, and a thrilling reunion of The Guitar Trio led to a Verve album and world tour in 1996. But the Andalusian master maintained a steadfast commitment to flamenco as his primary art form. Landmark recordings including Siroco, Zyryab, Luzia and 2004’s masterful Cositas Buenas further reinforced de Lucía’s reputation as a peerless virtuoso who single-handedly reinvented the flamenco vocabulary.

SFJAZZ Director of Education Rebeca Mauleón puts it well: "He was the beacon of modern flamenco. As we mark the tango 'before and after Piazzolla,' we must do the same for flamenco." Watch Paco de Lucía perform in 2010 at the 31st Leverkusener Jazztage in Germany...


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