Paco de Lucia has passed away in Mexico yesterday, reportedly of a heart attack while playing with his children on a beach. He was 66. The death of one of the most celebrated flamenco guitarists was announced by the mayor’s office in Algeciras in southern Spain, where he was born, according to the BBC. He is said to have died in the Mexican resort of Cancun. Algeciras is to hold two days of official mourning. Famous for a series of flamenco albums in the 1970s, de Lucia was a very influential guitarist and was known as an ambassador of flamenco music. He also played flamenco jazz and fusion music. He has performed with dozens of musicians, including Chick Corea, Al di Meola, John McLaughlin, Eric Clapton, Brian Adams, and many more. He also worked on films by Spanish director Carlos Saura, notably appearing in his 1983 version of Carmen, which won a UK Bafta award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1985. He had lived both in Mexico and in Spain in recent years. He was born Francisco Sanchez Gomez on 21 December 1947, the son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sanchez, who was of Gypsy origin. His stage name he took in honour of his mother, Lucia Gomes. It is believed he had played the guitar from the age of five. At the age of 18 he recorded his first album in Madrid. In 2004, Paco de Lucia was awarded Spain’s prestigious Asturias Prize for Art as the “most universal of flamenco artists”.