Revered Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia Dead At 66

(Gibson) Revered flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia passed away Tuesday (Feb. 25) in Mexico after suffering a heart attack. He was 66. Hailed as one of history's greatest guitarists, the six-string virtuoso vastly expanded the audience for flamenco guitar, giving the style a more vibrant, modern sound.

In addition to popularizing the style worldwide, he toured and collaborated extensively with such well-known figures as Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola, often merging flamenco rhythms with jazz and other musical art forms.

The Mayor of Algeciras, Spain-the city where de Lucia was born-has decreed two days of official mourning in the guitarist's memory. "It has been said, and rightly so, that Paco de Lucia has never been surpassed by anyone and guitar playing today would not be understood without his revolutionary figure," said Spain's arts association, SGAE, in a prepared statement. Eric Clapton praised de Lucia as "a titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar." more on this story

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