Legendary guitarist and king of ‘New Flamenco’ dies after a heart attack in Mexico.

Perhaps the most influential ‘cross-over’ flamenco guitarist of the 20th century, Paco de Lucía, has died after a heart attack in Mexico, reportedly while playing on a beach with his grandchildren. Described by Eric Clapton as a “titanic figure”, his ability to cross over into the worlds of classical and jazz made him a household name. A spokesman for the civic authorities in Algeciras, the city where de Lucía was born, confirmed his death and said that there would be two days of official mourning.

Australian guitarist Slava Grigoryan paid tribute saying that Paco had “pushed and pulled the very fabric of his art form, he gave it a new life force, and he challenged everyone.” Singling out De Lucía’s uniqueness he added, “I’ve never witnessed in anyone else the spine tingling energy that came with Paco. He brought it with him as he walked on stage, before the first notes were ever played.”

Born Francisco Sánchez Gómez on December 21, 1947, Paco de Lucía was the son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez, who was of Gypsy origin and Paco started playing guitar at the age...