Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia has died aged 66 in Mexico, reportedly of a heart attack while playing with his children on a beach.
Paco de Lucia’s death was announced by the mayor’s office in Algeciras in southern Spain, where he was born.
The world-renowned is said to have died in the Mexican resort of Cancun.
Famous for a series of flamenco albums in the 1970s, Paco de Lucia also crossed over into classical and jazz guitar.
He also worked on films by Spanish director Carlos Saura, notably appearing in his 1983 version of Carmen, which won a UK BAFTA award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1985.
Algeciras is to hold two days of official mourning. Its mayor, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, called the musician’s death an “irreparable loss for the world of culture and for Andalusia”.
Paco de Lucia had lived both in Mexico and in Spain in recent years.
He was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez on December 21, 1947, the son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sanchez, who was of Gypsy origin. His stage name he took in honor of his mother, Lucia Gomes.
It is believed Paco de Lucia had played the guitar from the age of five.
At the age of 18 he recorded his first album in Madrid.
One of the great musical partnerships of Paco de Lucia’s life was with the singer Camaron de la Isla, who died in 1992. The two men recorded albums in the 1970s which inspired a New Flamenco movement.
In 2004, Paco de Lucia was awarded Spain’s prestigious Asturias Prize for Art as the “most universal of flamenco artists”.
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