February 27, 2014–Paco de Lucía’s sudden death yesterday struck Spain like a hammer blow. Francisco Sánchez Gómez, the world’s greatest flamenco guitarist, was a Spanish national monument like the Escorial or the Alhambra. He wasn’t set in the landscape, however, rather in people’s hearts. He was their “Paco,” and he connected to them through his prodigious musical skills as a performing artist and composer, as well as his sweet, self-effacing character. Paco was a “caballero,” a Spanish gentleman.
Born in the lowly Gypsy quarter of the Andalusian city of Algeciras, though Paco was a non Gypsy or “Payo” in Caló, the language of the Spanish Roma, his music formed an indigenous sound track for the past half century in Spain. It also went farther afield. There are discerning experts around the world who are willing to affirm that Paco was simply the world’s greatest guitarist.
See coverage on BBC News.com: http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2014/02/26/actualidad/1393404782_621517.html
Here’s a link to the most extensive newspaper coverage of Paco’s life and work, in Madrid’s El País (in Spanish): http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2014/02/26/actualidad/1393426383_691930.html
Here’s an excellent El Pais slide show reviewing Paco’s life and career in still photos: http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2014/02/26/album/1393403103_659282.html#1393403103_659282_1393403177
And here’s a selection of Paco’s video clips from El País: http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2014/02/26/actualidad/1393404782_621517.html