And so former flamenco great Paco de Lucia makes one last trip to his native Spain in what is the end of his journey and the country officially begins a period of mourning that only a great legend could inspire.
De Lucia’s body arrived — accompanied by his wife and children — for a memorial service on Friday, before the wake and burial in his native Algeciras, in southern Spain.
The casket left the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid amid loud ovations from the thousands that came to pay their last respects to Paco de Lucia, one of Spain’s most illustrious sons.
The famous flamenco musician was flown back to Spain from Mexico where he died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 66. He felt unwell early Wednesday while playing on the beach with his son and later passed away.
According to Europa Press it was an emotional farewell, where hundreds of people — including Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne — paid their respects by filing past the casket at Madrid’s National Auditorium music center Friday afternoon, and gave their condolences to De Lucia’s family.
This first stop in Paco de Lucia’s last journey through his beloved Spain ended with a 10 minute ovation that likened more of one of his well known flamenco songs than a monotone applause.
After departing from the Auditorio Nacional the procession will drive to Algeciras, where it is expected to arrive at around midnight on Friday.
Paco de Lucia is credited with transforming flamenco from an obscure genre, which was slighted because of its connection to the Gypsies, to a form of music respected all around the world while inspiring countless others with his music.
A true virtuoso, the Spanish musician took guitar lessons from a young age and never learned how to read music, what he did came from the heart and his incomparable talent became known around the globe.
Several celebrities have taken to social media to express the sadness they feel at the sudden death of Paco de Lucia:
The Maestro King of Gypsy Flamenco Music is in heaven NOW Paco de Lucia I love you with all my heart Rascale en el cielo
— Carlos Santana (@SantanaCarlos) February 26, 2014
Internationally renowned Spanish flamenco musician, Alejandro Sanz, visibly affected by Paco de Lucia’s death also has taken to Twitter to express his deep sadness and respond to some of the messages from his followers. “I can’t go on…we have lost a genius.” Sanz wrote on his page that shows a black ribbon in honor of his friend. “#PacoVive. Let me mourn.” Al DiMeola, with whom Paco de Lucia collaborated for the famous 1981 album “A Night In San Francisco” took to his Facebook page:
“To have worked and played music with him is one the greatest blessings in my life. To say I will miss him is an understatement. In the place where he lived in my heart, there is now an emptiness that will stay with me till I join him.”
Chick Corea has a black background to denote the mourning that musicians around the world feel at the death of Paco de Lucia:
“Paco inspired me in the construction of my own musical world as much as Miles Davis and John Coltrane.”—Chick pic.twitter.com/VKP4Y4UG92
— Chick Corea (@ChickCorea) February 26, 2014
These are just some members of the music industry that have shared their thoughts on Paco de Lucia, many other national and international artists have come out to express their regrets.
According to the Spanish publication, El Pais Paco de Lucia left a finished album, his 30th, titled “Canciones Andaluzas”, which is scheduled to be released in Spain in April.
[Image courtesy of Rawanduz/deviantART]