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Paco de LuciaPacco De Lucia

Francisco Sánchez Gómez adopted the stage name Paco de Lucia in honour of his portuguese-gypsy mother, Lucia Gomes. His father was gypsy flamenco guitarist, Antonio Sanchez and is the brother of Pepe de Lucia a flamenco singer, and Ramon de Algeciras. Paco was born in Algeciras , Spain on December 21 1947, the youngest of 5 children. He has established himself as one of the worlds most respected Flamenco guitarists. More recently he has developed his own unique sound which has a distinct flamenco style. Paco de Lucia has managed to incorporate a variety of musical genres into his repetoire, which always have the unique Paco de Lucia signature. De Lucía is considered a master of rasgueados and picados which he is capable of playing at Pacco De Lucialightening speeds whilst still maintaining his precision.

Paco de Lucia made his first public appearance at the age of 11yrs. In 1961 at the young age of 14yrs old, he was touring with Jose Greco and his dance troupe. In 1964 he met Ricardo Modrego with whom he recorded three albums. During the 70s he collaborated with Camaron de la Isla who was, like Paco De Lucia, a new type of flamenco artist, and they recorded 10 albums.

In 1979 Paco joined forces with guitarists 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 Hall entitled "Meeting of Spirits". This line up caused a sensation and were widely acclaimed. Later, Al Di Meola took Coryell's place in the line up. 'The Guitar Trio' have now recorded three albums under this line-up. The Paco de Lucía Sextet, which includes his brothers, have rea Pacco De Lucia

Paco de lucia has proved to be one of the greatest Traditional & New Flamenco guitarists; but more than that he has created something quite new and exciting. In the book Paco de Lucia- Light and Shade: A Portrait, he claims to give much greater emphasis to rhythmical accuracy, even if this means sacrificing the perfection of tone that is so much preferred by the classical musicians. Paco de Lucia interpreted and performed Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo and his individual approach seems to have been very well received by the composer, because to paraphrase Joaquin Rogrigo , ' no one has ever played this composition more brilliantly'..

It was here that one of the flamenco masters, Sabicas, was so impressed by the youth's talent that he urged him to devote his time to developing a style of his own. At age fourteen he was deemed too young to play for the main prize in the La Catedra de Flamencologia in Jerez , but his performance was so stunning that he was awarded a special prize: El Premio Internacional de Acompanamiento. He would enter the recording studio just a year later. Paco AlDi & John

In 1976 de Lucia recorded a rumba, "Entre Dos Aguas", which had never been done before in flamenco history. High sales figures for the single, which made the Spanish Top 20, immediately established him as an international superstar. Flamenco purists were outraged and considered the single a bastardization of their music. De Lucia defended his concept though, stating that he would remain true to the traditional form but that there must also be room for change. "I was brought up in a flamenco atmosphere, and I only really feel flamenco, and after that I play what I want to play without worry," he said in Guitar.

From 1977 to 1981 he won the Guitar Player Readers' Poll Award for Best Flamenco Guitarist and became a member of the magazine's Gallery of Greats. Example image - aligned to the right

"I have had so many periods of anxiety and nervousness since becoming more popular, and fame can eat you, " he told Guitar Player. "You always have so much pressure to repeat your successes." But de Lucia was able to create magic once again in 1980 with the help of DiMeola and John McLaughlin. The three formed an acoustic-guitar super trio that stunned audiences with their brilliant musicianship. Evidence of their virtuosity and comraderie can be heard on the live 1981 album, Friday Night in San Francisco . McLaughlin explained the group's conception to Guitar Player 's Tom Wheeler: "Al and I had the same idea--to play with Paco. I heard Paco on the radio, and it was love at first hearing. I said, 'I have to play with this man, and that's all I know.' And so I looked for him until I found him." Two years later the trio would enter the studio to record an appropriately titled follow-up LP, Passion, Grace and Fire.

De Lucia is still playing the flamenco music that is so much a part of the rich Gypsy heritage, but in a way that is both rooted in the past and easily accessible to today's audiences. Those who may doubt his commitment to either should take note. "... I play guitar not for me, but for flamenco," de Lucia told Guitar Player. "I don't want to be a star, or a rich man. I am working for my village, for my country, for my music, for the tradition of the art form, and I want to make the music better." Pacco De Lucia

In 1999, a video of the 1979 Royal Albert Hall concert by de Lucia, John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell was released, entitled Meeting of the Spirits. If critics were ecstatic when writing of the original concert, they were equally effusive about the video document of the event. In 2004, de Lucia released Consitas Buenos, on which he plays other such stringed instruments as the lute, bouzouki, tres, and mandolin. Guitar Player writer Barry Cleveland described the release as music that "dances and soars into unexpected harmonic and melodic realms, while remaining firmly grounded in traditional rhythms, and, on all but two pieces, the guitars share the spotlight with one or more celebrated singers (including the late Cameron de la Isla, whose legendary voice was miraculously resurrected via digital technology on 'Que Venga el Alba')."