The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia presents the scintillating music and dance of Flamenco Legends: The Paco de Lucía Project on November 2, 2019 at 8pm in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Featuring members of de Lucía’s late-career sextet, including the guitarist’s own nephew Antonio Sánchez on guitar, percussionist Israel Suárez aka “Piraña,” Alain Pérez on bass, Antonio Serrano on harmonica, vocalist David de Jacoba, and the riveting, passionate dance of Antonio Fernández aka “Farru,” the project is a powerful testament to a musical legacy that endures following the untimely passing of de Lucía in 2014. Famed producer and 10-time Latin Grammy winner Javier Limón, who created the project, was a longtime collaborator of de Lucía and countless other flamenco artists—all of whom feel the loss of the inimitable artist deeply. “We lost a leader that was even bigger than flamenco itself,” says Limón.
Paco de Lucía, born in Spain in 1947, began his musical career at an early age playing with his father in small flamenco venues around Cadíz, eventually releasing his first recording with brother Pepe at age 14. The 1960s and 70s were decades of significant productivity and recognition for the guitarist, when he became widely known for combining traditional forms with modern influences from jazz and world music, for creating new and interesting harmonies, and for working with artists from outside the genre including John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana, Chick Corea, and Eric Clapton. His celebrated partnership with flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla resulted in a string of nine albums between 1969 and 1977, which were toured widely. Some of his best known solo recordings include Fuente y Caudal (1973), which featured the famous rumba “Entre Dos Aguas”; Almoraima (1976); Castro Marín (1981); Siroco (1987); and Luzia (1998), dedicated to his late mother.
In the 1980s, de Lucía formed a sextet that further exploded flamenco conventions and extended the reach of the genre’s audience around the world. Twenty years later, he assembled a second, younger group who brimmed with energy and technical brilliance. Their historic collaboration resulted in the highly acclaimed 2010 recording Live in Spain. The latest reconvening of this extraordinary ensemble, produced by Limón, is comprised of original members of the 2010 sextet plus vocalist David de Jacoba, who joined more recently.
The program for the upcoming tour contains beloved classics by de Lucía—“Zyryab,” “El Cafetal,” “Canción de Amor”—as well as original music by the sextet, all greatly celebrated artists in their own right. As Limón describes, “Alain Pérez is arguably the best Latin bass player of his generation. Antonio Serrano is the best jazz musician in Spain; and you have Piraña, whom Paco loved, the best percussionist in flamenco’s history. And then you have Antonio, David, and Farru…each one of them is a soloist, a leader. This band is the best flamenco group in the world.”
As for Sanchez, de Lucía’s nephew and guitarist with the project, his role in this production bears both honour and responsibility. “I take carrying on Paco’s music with great humility. It’s a real challenge… It has been great to remember him every day in his music, but also it has been great to see how this group has evolved, matured… It’s a chance to capture and bring back some of those little things we had with Paco, and it’s beautiful.”
Chan Centre Connects Events (chancentre.com/connects)
Programmed in conjunction with Chan Centre performances, exploring the role of arts and artists in society.
• Film Screening: Paco de Lucía: A Journey — Thursday October 17, 7pm at The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St). De Lucía’s own son directs this fascinating documentary that recollects the legendary guitarist’s life with incredible access and intimacy. Tickets at thecinematheque.ca.
• Pre-show Talk with Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee – Saturday November 2, 7:15pm in the Royal Bank Cinema at the Chan Centre. Flamenco Rosario’s Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee discuss the art form of flamenco and Paco de Lucía’s influence on the genre.
Chan Centre Presents Flamenco Legends: The Paco de Lucía Project
Date: Saturday November 2, 2019 at 8pm
Ticket Prices: From $46
Address: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia
6265 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Box Office: 604-822-2697 / chancentre.com
Open Tue–Sat, 12pm–5pm
Photo by Luis Malabran
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