Paco De Lucia, RIP Maestro

Fell asleep on the couch last night. Woke up to head up to bed but checked my iPad first and saw the extremely sad news. One of the guitar world’s heroes has passed away.

Paco De Lucia IS an amazing legendary guitarist. A flamenco guitarist who crossed many boundaries which furthered the genre’s cause. He played with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin in THE Guitar Trio, marking his crossover into the jazz/fusion world. His long hair and rock look, coupled with his amazing guitar chops, piqued the interest of the heavy metal and rocker guitarists. And his association with greats like Los Romeros gave him notice in the classical realm.

I was lucky enough to see him in the 90s in San Diego. We had front row seats(directly in front of the Romeros) and will never forget that show!

RIP the guitar world has lost a giant…

(Paco is not the one pictured in the video capture below, he is on the left of your screen)

The Guitar Gods Smiled Upon Me….

While I always feel ‘crazy’ lucky to be a guitarist for a living….I had a nice little gift from the Guitar Gods this morning during my workout.

Every morning, I trudge out to get my blood flowing, trusty IPod always in tow, shuffling though 8000 or so songs! I like to shuffle, both for the randomness and the fact that with so much music I get  to hear stuff I would probably never pick or even remember that I own.

Anywho, first up on this sunny morning was Joe Satriani’s “Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing,” a classic to be sure. Followed by, Dokken’s, “Tooth and Nail,” with George Lynch’s extended guitar solo, Jimi Hendrix’ classic, “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Espiritu,” by the De Lucia, McLaughlin, Di Meola trio and capped off with, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” Van Halen’s live version.

Good thing it was a short workout or the next song that may have popped up could have been my daughter’s Little Einsteins and ruined my Guitar Gods Smiling on Me theory.

Peace…have a great one everybody!

Flamenco vs. Flamingo (Guitar or Birds San Diego is Your Place)

Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia
Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia

San Diego is a great town for flamenco guitar. It’s proximity to Mexico, it’s rich Spanish Mission history, Spanish style architecture throughout the community and warm Mediterranean type climate make it a perfect match for the Iberian music.

As a guitarist, I play weddings and events throughout the region and flamenco truly pairs perfectly with our Latin infused city. Both traditional and nova styles of flamenco blend flawlessly with outdoor venues along the Pacific coast, Balboa Park and in so many of the great Mexican restaurants in San Diego.

Another amazing feature of San Diego is the ‘World Famous San Diego Zoo’

Flamingo Guitar by Bernie Lehmann
Flamingo Guitar by Bernie Lehmann

What an amazing place this is, a must see if you’ve never been. Here you will find beautiful weather and animals ranging from polar bears to pandas and every type of animal in-between including flamingos.

Herein lies a play on words not easily detected by the uninitiated. I am often asked if I can play flamingo guitar?? Do they want me to stand on one leg? Eat shrimp? Wear pink? Well so far this has never been the case…although I like shrimp and my daughter would love for me to wear an all pink outfit…

Nope, I just take it in stride and assume they have made the ever popular inadvertent mistake of transposing the words Flamenco and Flamingo and their true intention is Flamenco!! So far I haven’t been wrong and shown up to a flamenco guitar event where I was expected to wear pink, although sometimes they do serve shrimp.

However you pronounce it flamenco is an incredible form of music from Spain with Middle Eastern influences. It is a music rich in tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. Great masters of the traditional style include Sabicas and Montoya to Paco de Lucia still with all the great technique in a more contemporary style. Then there is the modern flamenco ‘nova’ style with artists like the Gypsy Kings, Ottmar Liebert and Strunz & Farah bringing flamenco to even more listeners throughout the world. Make sure you give a listen to all the styles below

Remember to ask FLAMENCO for guitar music and FLAMINGO for the zoo!!! Either way San Diego is your city!

Sabicas

Paco de Lucia

Gypsy Kings

Flamingos