A special Tribute concert: Paco de Lucía – Beyond the Memory featuring the musicians that Paco de Lucía worked with closely throughout his life, will be held at the Barbican, London on Wednesday 9 December 2015 with the original members of the Paco de Lucía Sextet: flautist/saxophonist Jorge Pardo, bass player Carles Benavent, percussionist Rubem Dantas (with whom Paco de Lucía introduced the cajón 35 years ago, which then became an essential flamenco percussion instrument), as well as other more recent members of the Paco de Lucía Septet: the flamenco singer Duquende, the flamenco dancer Farru, the percussionist Israel Suárez ‘El Piraña’, the harmonica player Antonio Serrano, and the two nephews of Paco de Lucía: the guitarist Antonio Sánchez, who toured for a number of years with the Septet and the guitarist José María Bandera, with whom he formed a guitar trio (including Juan Manuel Cañizares).
Paco de Lucía died unexpectedly in February 2014. The profound influence that he has had on flamenco could not be understated; not only was he a unique and dedicated performer with an imagination which always pushed him beyond the established boundaries, but his collaborations and support of other musicians, particularly of other flamenco performers has been phenomenal.
It was hard to accept that there would be no new ground-breaking recordings which we all awaited eagerly; they offer a musical experience which is deeply moving and satisfying and exciting — an insight into the many levels that music can effect us. In an interview with Paco de Lucía, published in Classical Guitar magazine in April 2008, we spoke about how his early recordings sell just as well, or maybe even better, than his more recent recordings. He explained:
‘Yes, because the music that I write could be considered as “classics”; it’s not like “pop” music which has a limited shelf life with a popularity for just a year or two, a bit like consumer music; what I write is music for a whole lifetime.’
The release of his final recording, which he had already completed and prepared for release Canción Andaluza was a cause for celebration.
The Barbican performance will be accompanied by visuals, including previously unseen images and excerpts from Paco de Lucía: La Búsqueda, a new film based on Paco de Lucía’s life, directed by his son, Curro Sánchez Varela, with a script by Paco de Lucía’s daughter Casilda Sánchez Varela; the producers are Paco de Lucía’s daughter Lucía Sánchez Varela and Anxo Rodríguez.
Paco de Lucía – Beyond the Memory will begin with the duo of pianist Chano Domínguez and flamenco guitarist Niño Josele performing music from their recent Chano y Josele recording.
For many years Serious, the organisers of the London Jazz Festival, invited Paco de Lucía and his Septet/Sextet to perform during the London Jazz Festival, so it seems only fitting that Serious in collaboration with the Barbican has organised this Tribute concert. Paco de Lucía – Beyond the Memory will be – like those many concerts where Paco de Lucía was performing with these very same musicians – an unforgettable musical experience!
© 2015 Thérèse Wassily Saba