Paco de Lucía: Adiós Maestro

It took me some time to absorb the shock of Paco de Lucía’s death. Now I can finally write about him a bit, but what can I say about him that has not been said already? Something personal maybe.

When I moved to Spain over 5 years ago, I was immediately ‘drawn’ to Flamenco music, enchanted by the guitar of masters like Manolo Sanlúcar and even younger musicians like Vicente Amigo. I listened to countless singers and musicians, my taste changed over time, but two names seemed to always top my list: Camarón de la Isla (singer) and Paco de Lucía (guitarist), both of them being legends celebrated in Spain and worldwide.

I was first introduced to Paco de Lucía through a Spanish friend who made me listen to his ‘Entre dos aguas’, an exquisite piece of music that sent shivers down my spine (and that I still enjoy every once in a while). It’s not only the quality of this piece that cemented Paco’s reputation, but also its significance. Global Post puts it nicely:

“’A hypnotic instrumental he recorded in 1973 called “Entre dos aguas” became a massive hit and helped spread flamenco’s popularity abroad. Its unusual sound, which included an electric bass and bongos, was revolutionary and, coming at the tail end of Francisco Franco’s right-wing dictatorship, it became part of the soundtrack for a country in upheaval.
‘At the historical and political moment that Spain was going through in 1973, two years away from the coming of democracy,” wrote musician and academic Diana Perez Custodio, “‘Entre dos aguas’ worked as a manifesto, a declaration of intent, showing that flamenco can and should change, and that it is able to connect with the young.”

Adiós maestro, here is an old recording of Entre dos aguas:


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