The Paco de Lucia Project, Reigniting the Master’s Legacy

Flamenco Legends by Javier Limón brings together de Lucia’s second — and arguably best — ensemble

September 30, 2019

Folsom, CA — Created by 10-time Latin Grammy ® winner Javier Limón, The Paco de Lucía Project reassembles the band that toured with the legendary guitarist for the last 10 years of his career, together with the sensational flamenco dancer Farruco, grandson of El Farruco. A longtime collaborator of de Lucía, Javier Limón honors de Lucía’s legacy while paving a new path into flamenco’s future. Paco was widely considered the world’s premier flamenco guitarist, and The Project is a unique homage to him. “It seemed then that Paco de Lucía was reborn in our midst; that the second of his two lives had come to pass” ( Latin Jazz Network).

The Paco de Lucia Project takes to the stage on Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $22-$48; Premium $52; Students with ID $11-$21. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. The Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

The legacies of great artists go well beyond particular masterpieces. In the case of guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía, his playing, his composing, the sound of his ensembles, his entire approach, marked a “before” and “after” in flamenco.

No group has taken up the challenges of that legacy with greater authority than The Paco de Lucía Project. In the 1980s, the guitarist, who had long-established his place in flamenco history, put together a sextet that incorporated jazz and global music elements and exploded flamenco conventions. About 20 years later, he assembled a second, younger group. Brimming with energy and technical brilliance, this second sextet both pushed and freed the master, suggesting tantalizing possibilities for the future. But Paco de Lucía died unexpectedly of a heart attack while on holiday in February 2014. He was 66. 

That last ensemble, reconvened as The Paco de Lucía Project, is now on its second tour of North America, celebrating the release of The Paco de Lucía Project (Casalimón Records), a live CD documenting the sound of their inaugural tour. As good as that snapshot is, the sextet has continued to evolve while taking on the challenges of de Lucia´s legacy. 

“That first experience of touring America, taking this music and Paco’s name everywhere, thinking of him every day — it was magnificent,” says guitarist Antonio Sánchez, the son of Paco's late older brother. “As we toured with this group, each concert was better than the one before. Luckily, we recorded the one in Miami and it’s now a tribute to Paco.”

The sextet features Sánchez on guitar; Alain Pérez on bass; Israel Suárez "Piraña," percussion; Antonio Serrano, harmonica; David de Jacoba, vocals, and flamenco dancer Antonio Fernández "Farruco" (a/k/a Farru). Except for de Jacoba, who joined later, this is the band captured on de Lucía’s historic double CD Live in Spain 2010.

Grammy-winning producer and composer Javier Limón, a collaborator and personal friend of de Lucía, masterminded the reunion of the group and produced the CD as a celebration of the legendary guitarist.

“Paco created a new sound with his first group. But then, with this band, he arrived at a different sonority,” says Limón. “And I kept thinking: why are we throwing away a sound that took so many years and so much work to create?”

“By the time he assembled the second sextet, Paco was at his peak. He was the wise old man, the master, and the players were all so young. It was a different dynamic,” reflects Limón. “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, and David, and Farruco … Each one of them is a soloist, a leader. This band is the best flamenco group in the world.”

"I take carrying on Paco's music with great humility. It's a real challenge," said guitarist Sánchez, who joined his uncle’s group as a second guitar in 2010. "The name is a burden only if you don´t study, if you don´t apply yourself and work. Working with this group is a huge responsibility, very demanding, but it also brings out a lot of love on my part — and no fear. On the contrary, I was eager to do this. 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.”

“Every day we seem to be doing something different, and it’s great fun, very enjoyable, and it brings us together,” said Sánchez. “And we also started to realize that we can pay tribute to Paco with our own music. There will always be classics by Paco in the program, songs like “Zyryab” or a rumba like “El Cafetal,” but now also some of our compositions, things we used to do with him in rehearsals but were never recorded. It’s a chance to capture and bring back some of those little things we had with Paco, and it’s beautiful.”

October at the Harris Center

On October 2, the Harris Center presents Complexions Contemporary Ballet, “a matchless American dance company” (Philadelphia Inquirer). The company will perform From Bach to Bowie, a program that begins with Bach 25, and is followed by Star Dust, based on Bowie hits from  “Lazarus,” to “Changes,” to “Young Americans” and an encore of  “Let’s Dance.” It is “an enrapturing delight” (Billboard). October 3-4 brings the renowned Tuvan throat singers Huun Hurr Tu to the Harris Center. PANTO Company USA stages their family-friendly Rumpelstiltskin on October 5. New this season, the National Geographic Live! series debuts with big wall rock-climber Mark Synott; he’ll give a lecture and multimedia presentation Life On The Vertical (October 6). Blue Man Group — “a guaranteed good time” ( Los Angeles Times) — return for no fewer than eight performances October 8-13 with a brand new show Speechless. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (“We Belong,” “Invincible,” “Love Is A Battlefield”) have been making music together for four decades and will celebrate their 40th Anniversary Tour on October 15 and 16. Javier Limón and The Paco De Lucía Project perform Flamenco Legends, a program honoring the memory of De Lucía on October 22. The tributes to rock stars we have loved continue on October 24 with Fastlove A Tribute to George Michael (“I’m Your Man!,” “Wake Me Up”). An evening organized, loosely, around the music of Jimmy Buffett, Songs You Should Know By Heart & Some You Do features Peter & Brendan Mayer, baseball legend Tim Flannery and Garratt Wilkin on October 25.

This Year Marks Nine Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences, presenting the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting 150,000 annually.

Event Summary


  • Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 pm
  • Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College
    10 College Parkway, Folsom, CA 95630
  • $22-$48; Premium $52; Students with ID $11-$21
  • Ticket Office 916-608-6888
  • Mon - Sat 12 PM - 6 PM and 2 hours before show times
  • www.HarrisCenter.net

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Press Release (PDF)