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Paco de Lucía, born Francisco Sánchez Gómez (in Algecirasmarker, Cádizmarker on December 21, 1947), is a Spanishmarker composer and guitarist. Recognized as a virtuoso flamenco guitarist all over the world, he is a leading proponent of the Modern Flamenco style, and is one of the very few flamenco guitarists who have also successfully crossed over into other genres of music. He enjoys, and has been a successful musician in, many styles such as classical, jazz and world music. He is the winner of the 2004 Prince of Asturias Awards in Arts.


Paco de Lucia was born Francisco Sánchez Gómez in Algecirasmarker, a city in the province of Cádizmarker, at the southernmost tip of Spainmarker directly in front of the Rock of Gibraltarmarker. The youngest of the five children of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez, and brother of flamenco singer Pepe de Lucía and flamenco guitarist Ramón de Algeciras, he adopted the stage name Paco de Lucía in honor of his Portuguese mother, Lucía Gomes. In Algeciras, and generally in Andalusiamarker, it is a custom to name boys (especially if they have the same first name) by adding the mother's name in order to properly identify them, such as "Paco de (la) Carmen," "Paco de (la) María," and so on.

In 1958, at age 11, he made his first public appearance on Radio Algeciras, and a year later was awarded a special prize in the Jerez flamenco competition. In 1961, he toured with the flamenco troupe of dancer José Greco. In 1964, he met Madrileñomarker guitarist Ricardo Modrego with whom he recorded three albums: Dos guitarras flamencas, Dos guitarras flamencas en stereo, and Doce canciones de Federico García Lorca para guitarra. Between 1968 and 1977, he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with fellow New Flamenco cantaor (Flamenco singer) Camarón de la Isla. The two recorded 10 albums together.

In 1979, de Lucía, John McLaughlin, and Larry Coryell formed "The Guitar Trio" and together made a brief tour of Europe and released a video recorded at London's Royal Albert Hallmarker entitled Meeting of Spirits. Coryell was later replaced by Al Di Meola, and since 1981, the trio has recorded three albums. De Lucía's own band, the Paco de Lucía Sextet (which includes his brothers Ramón and Pepe) released the first of its three albums that same year. He has released several albums encompassing both traditional and modern flamenco styles.

In 1995, he recorded with Bryan Adams the hit song and video "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" on the soundtrack for the movie Don Juan DeMarco. Through his wide discography he has advanced the technical and musical boundaries of his instrument. The University of Cadiz recognized de Lucía's musical and cultural contributions by conferring on him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa on March 23 2007.

Until asked to perform and interpret Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in 1991, de Lucía was not proficient at reading musical notation. As a flamenco guitarist, he claimed in Paco de Lucía-Light and Shade: A Portrait that he gave greater emphasis to rhythmical accuracy in his interpretation of the Concierto at the expense of the perfect tone preferred by classical guitarists. Joaquín Rodrigo declared that no one had ever played his composition in such a brilliant manner. Since de Lucia was not able to read music, he worked on his interpretation of the concerto with Narciso Yepes.

Image:Paco de lucia 2007.jpg|Paco de Lucía in the early 1980sFile:Paco, el de Lucía (el maestro).jpg|Lucía performing, 1983Image:DeLucia.jpg|Lucía (left) in 1987Image:Paco de Lucia 2.jpg|2007


He also has composed (or appears on) the soundtracks for: "la Sabina", "The Hit", the brit-noir thriller by Stephen Frears, "Carmen" by Carlos Saura, "Montoyas y Tarantos", "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "Sevillanas" (also by Carlos Saura).

The electronic act, Shpongle, sampled his track "Introduccion Y Pantomima" in their song "Around the World in a Tea Daze" from the album Tales of the Inexpressible.


  • Interview with Paco de Lucía from DVD "Paco de Lucía - Light and Shade: A Portrait" (1994)
  • Interview with Paco de Lucía from DVD "Paco de Lucía - Francisco Sanchez" (2003)
  • "Flamenco Guitar Innovation and the Circumscription of Tradition" Ph.D. Dissertation (Ph.D.) University of California, Santa Barbara (Banzi, Julia 2007)
  1. "Horizonte Flamenco" (Flamenco Horizon) website article (in Spanish)

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