Today is Andalucia’s regional holiday, Dia de Andalucia, 28 February, when green and white flags are proudly flown from Huelva to Almeria.
But today’s celebrations have been tinged with sadness by the death this week of one of the region’s most famous and respected musicians: flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, who came from Algeciras.
He was a hugely influential man who brought flamenco to a massive global audience, but who also introduced his own interpretations and styles to this art form, merging it with other genres of music to create a new type of flamenco.
For my own part, one of his pieces was played at my wedding (in England) by a talented young guitarist called David Buckingham. The piece of music is a rumba called Entre Dos Aguas, and is one of his most famous compositions – you’re sure to recognise it. David played this tune so beautifully, in the high-ceiled hall of the Norman keep where we had the wedding, that my husband’s (Spanish) aunt was reduced to tears. Still gives me the shivers.
RIP Paco de Lucia