MADRID: Paco de Lucia, the Spanish guitarist who brought flamenco to a world audience, has died in Mexico aged 66, officials in his Andalusian hometown said Wednesday. Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, he was credited with modernising the Spanish gypsy tradition with jazz and bossa nova influences during a decades-long career. The mayor’s office in his southern hometown of Algeciras, deep in flamenco country, said de Lucia died in Mexico of a heart attack. “Paco de Lucia’s death turns his genius into a legend,” said the mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, in a statement.

“Although he has gone, his music, his wonderful way of playing and his character will always be with us.” The town called three days of mourning and flew flags at half-mast for “the greatest guitarist of all time”.–AFP