Thank you for the music: Clock in Spain pays moving musical tribute to Paco de Lucia

IT is seven years since flamenco guitarist and songwriter Paco de Lucia died suddenly from a heart attack while on a family holiday in Mexico. 

But for many, the legend of the pioneering Spanish musician lives on.

Not least in the coastal town of Algeciras in Cadiz, where De Lucia was born and raised. 

And now the proud residents of Algeciras are paying a touching musical tribute to one of their best loved sons. 

The southern Spanish city is honouring  De Lucia twice a day – at 12pm and 6pm – by playing his most popular song, Entre dos aguas. 

Ringing out across the city,  a computer system connected to the clock means the sound of bells have been replaced by De Lucia’s fiery flamenco technique. 

“Algeciras is paying a tiny bit of the debt of gratitude it owes the greatest guitarist of all time and, in doing so, joins the small list of cities around the world that honour their geniuses by playing their compositions in public,” the mayor, José Ignacio Landaluce, said at the inauguration ceremony on Monday September 27, which was also attended by De Lucia’s first wife, Casilda Varela, by two of his daughters, Lucía and Casilda, and by his brother, Pepe.

A colossus in world music for more than 40 years, De Lucia was 66 when he died. 

Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez into a musical family of gypsy origin, De Lucia credited his father with introducing him to flamenco. 

De Lucia went on to garner acclaim the world over and was known for modernising the Spanish gypsy tradition with jazz and bossa nova influences.

Mayor Landaluce said the clock’s new chimes were part of a wider programme to honour De Lucia, including the creation of De Lucia centre ‘that will become a first-class model when it comes to both culture and tourism’. 

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