Paco de Lucía is an internationally recognized spanish flamenco guitarist, and leading exponent of the New Flamenco style. He is the son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez, and brother of flamenco singer Pepe de Lucia and flamenco guitarist Ramón de Algeciras. Paco is considered by many to be the greatest flamenco guitarist of all time. Not only does he dominate in flamenco, he is one of the very few guitarists that is also talented in other genres of music, e.g. jazz, classical, and world music. Paco fluently goes in these territories and plays like no other.
He was born Francisco Sánchez Gómez, in Algeciras, a city in the province of Cádiz, in the southernmost tip of Spain on December 21st, 1947, the youngest of five children. He adopted the stage name Paco de Lucía in honor of his mother, Lucía Gómez.
In 1958, at only age 11, de Lucía made his first public appearance on Radio Algeciras and a year later he was awarded a special prize in the Jerez flamenco competition. In 1961 he toured with the flamenco troupe of dancer José Greco.
Between 1968 and 1977 he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with fellow New Flamenco innovator Camarón de la Isla.. The two recorded 10 albums together.
He has toured and recorded with Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin as well as his own Paco de Lucia Sextet (which includes his brothers Ramón and Pepe).
He has released several albums encompassing both traditional and modern flamenco styles. Through his wide discography he has given rise to a new way of understanding flamenco and has launched his music and his instrument to a level comparable to modern jazz performers.
Being an incredibly talented guitarist, he is known to many as the master of rasqueodos and picados. Paco de Lucia has an incredible command of blinding speed on the nylon string guitar. It is said that he is able to play 16th note triplets at 180 bpm. This is fast by anyone's standard. Not only is his speed blindingly fast, he is extremely accurate, and almost never makes a technical mistake.
He is the winner of 2004 Prince of Asturias Awards in Arts.
Until being asked to perform and interpret Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in 1991, he had never learned how to read musical notes. He learned to play most of the passages in the Concierto simply by listening to previous interpretations. Given the Concierto's great technical difficulty, learning how to play the Concierto by ear is a great undertaking. While learning to play the Concierto, as a flamenco guitarist, where rhythm and pace is essential, he preferred to risk giving the listener a 'dirty' note when being forced to go from a low note to a very high one, rather than to displace the rhythm and pace just to keep the note clean. He felt that as a flamenco guitarist, he could interpret the Concierto in fashion not previously done.
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