Paco de Lucia
The legendary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia (64) grew up in a musical family. He introduced the notion of ‘flamenco nuevo’, or ‘new flamenco’, and refined it transforming it into a widely respected music genre. De Lucia often seems to be at a crossroads, blending classical music, jazz and fusion with his beloved flamenco. Together with his band he puts together amazing musical constructions, unleashing bulerias, combined with peerless dexterity, exciting rhythms, songs from the heart and rousing dance performances.
Instead of considering the guitar as an instrument to accompany dancers and singers De Lucia converted it into an instrument that can be used to make deep, personal statements. He also performed with modern instruments, such as an electrical bass, flutes and even violins.
Over time De Lucia conquered the world. He ensured that flamenco became more widely respected and that artists today are able to perform in top-class locations. Together with his sextet, which included his brothers Ramon and Pepe, he created such pioneering recordings ‘Fabulosa Guitarra de Paco de Lucia’, ‘Fantasia Flamenco’ and ‘Fuente Y Caudal’.
De Lucia also started to work with the pianist Chick Corea and formed a guitar trio with John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell, who was subsequently replaced by Al DiMeola. His musical out-of-the-box thinking was not always appreciated by flamenco purists. De Lucia is an emotional musician, whose performance is inspired by intuition and his keen ear.
He paid tribute to Manuel de Falla, performed the ‘Concerto de Aranjuez’ and was influenced by jazz, but always stayed true to his roots. ‘Otherwise I would lose myself’, he said. ‘I tried to respect tradition with one hand, while searching for new influences which could easily be absorbed by flamenco with the other’.
When De Lucia performs, he seems to become one with his guitar. Virtuosity, melancholy, incredibly fast guitar loops, sharp rhythms, robust explosions and majestic chords all come together to showcase his amazing command of his instrument.