Today on the one-year anniversary of Paco de Lucía's passing, in honor of him, I share with you some words I wrote last year upon learning of his death.

Paco se Fue...that's what the message said

It was 1:06 am.

I was in bed.

1:06 am last night,

And I received a text from Toshi.

Paco se fue,

That is what it said.

Oh my God,

Paco de Lucía passed away.

And my heart is beating

I want to tell you about the time I met Paco.

I think it was the first time I saw real flamenco in the US after having returned from that first trip to Spain.

We went to Tacoma to see him.

Toshi and I did.  And of course a bunch of others from Portland.

To see him and his sextet.

There’s no need to talk about the show.

It’s one of those things I don’t want to try to describe.

Maybe you could just watch the video below.

I gave involuntary jaleos that night.  And that was before I was comfortable with jaleos.

But I couldn't help it.

Afterward Paco invited anyone and everyone to come back and meet him.

Apparently that was just something he did

Just how he was.

So we went to the camerino to meet him.

There was a long line.

We got in it, and we waited.

It was quiet.

I remember that.

Quiet but not silent.

Because there was talking. But talking without engagement.

Conversations going on, but nobody was really in them. 

Everyone was just nervous and anxious thinking about meeting Paco.

At least that’s how I perceived it.

So we waited in line and had the unengaged conversations

We waited in the line to meet Paco.

And it grew shorter.

Soon we got to the little room.

The little room where Paco was receiving people.

There he sat in the little room.

In a big chair in the little room.

The hot, stuffy little room.

Receiving fans one by one.

With generosity.

I could tell you about what happened when it was our turn.

About how it was for Toshi.  But maybe that's not my place, so I won’t.

There was beauty that night

And there was pain.

But a different pain.

Not a pain like today’s pain.

I am shaking

And my heart is beating.

Paco made me want to make music. Even me, a non-musician.

And he was very important to some very important people in my life.

He made you want to make art.

He made you want to express.

He made you want to feel.

There is so much more to say.

But for now,

Adiós, Maestro.


*camerino - dressing room

This was originally posted here on the Portland Flamenco Events blog.


How did Paco de Lucía impact you? Did you ever have the chance to see him live? Do you have a favorite song by him? Do you have a favorite video of his playing? Please share. You can leave a comment below.