Paco De Lucia, World Renowned Flamenco Guitarist passes on at 66

Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, the Spanish guitarist better known as Paco de Lucia, who crossed over into jazz and classical music to take his flamenco style to a global audience, died today after suffering a heart attack on a beach in Cancun, Mexico. Francisco Sanchez Gomez was born on Dec. 21, 1947, Francisco adopted his stage name in honor of his Portuguese mother, Lucia Gomez, according to Verve Music. After recording his first album, “Los Chiquitos de Algeciras” with his brother Pepe in 1961, he began to develop his own style and made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1970. He later worked with guitarist Larry Coryell, pianist Chick Corea, and with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin, who formed the Guitar Trio with de Lucia and reunited for an album that reached No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz-album chart in 1996. “The greatest guitarist in the history of flamenco has gone,” Jose Merce, a flamenco singer, said in comments broadcast by state broadcaster RTVE today. story: Charles Penty in Madrid. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at