Tel Aviv pays homage to Paco de Lucia

Flamenco dancer Ornili Azulay to take on the great flamenco guitarist’s music

ORNILI AZULAY: De Lucia opened the channel for flamenco to flourish internationally. (photo credit: YAEL ROZEN)
ORNILI AZULAY: De Lucia opened the channel for flamenco to flourish internationally.
(photo credit: YAEL ROZEN)
Beloved Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía would have turned 70 this week if he hadn’t unexpectedly passed away four years ago. To honor his birthday, flamenco dancer Ornili Azulay is hosting a tribute in Tel Aviv to De Lucía, who brought different styles, from jazz and classical, to his incredible flamenco playing and compositions.
The show, presented with the support of the Spanish Embassy in Israel, Cervantes Institute, and the Israel-Spain Friendship Association, will take place Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and will feature a performance by Azulay as well as talks about De Lucia by Doron Salomon and Taiseer Elias.
Salomon, an Israeli guitarist and international conductor who collaborated with Lucía, and Elias, a professor of music at the University of Haifa, will speak about De Lucía’s vast influence on music.
The evening will feature a special screening of the much praised, Goya-winning (Spanish Oscar) documentary by Curro Sanchez Varela, Paco’s son: Paco de Lucia – The Journey/Paco de Lucia – La Busqueda (Spain 2015).
Azulay fell in love with De Lucia’s music at a young age. “His CDs became a guide and soundtrack to my life,” she said, adding that impressions of attending a flamenco festival in Nimes, France are still ingrained in her memory.
Azulay, who has performed in Spain and other countries, said although flamenco music has Spanish roots, there is strong evidence that it was heavily influenced by Arab and Sephardic liturgical music, a theory she said de Lucía subscribed to.
Today, when flamenco is celebrated across the world and has gained popularity in Israel, it is in many ways thanks to De Lucía’s groundwork, she said.
In addition to dancing to some of his songs, Azulay will speak about her connection to De Lucía, who she knew personally and collaborated with shortly before his death.
“I really think it was Paco de Lucía that opened the channel for flamenco to flourish internationally.”
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