CBC Music has a few excellent videos and a tribute to the flamenco innovator today:
Widely considered one of the primary architects of modern flamenco, de Lucia was known for his masterful guitar playing and revolutionary approach to flamenco, which helped to popularize it around the globe.
De Lucia was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez in Algeciras, a city on the southernmost tip of Spain, on Dec. 21, 1947. (His stage name is a tribute to his mother.) His father, Antonio Sanchez, was a day labourer who played guitar at night to supplement his income.
De Lucia’s first performance was on Radio Algeciras when he was only 11 years old. He recorded his first album with his brother Pepe at 14. In 1970, he made his Carnegie Hall debut.
At times, de Lucia was criticized by traditionalists for putting a modern twist on flamenco’s deep roots, but the guitarist shrugged off the critics.
“I have never lost my roots in my music, because I would lose myself,” he said. “What I have tried to do is have a hand holding onto tradition and the other scratching and also digging in other places trying to find new things I can bring into flamenco.”