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15 May 2010

Paco De Lucia receives honorary degree from Berklee

Up until last week, I may have been the only Flamenco guitarist in the world with a degree from Berklee. Now I get to share that distinction with Paco De Lucia, who was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston on May 8, 2010. See how I made that about me?

Of course, I wouldn’t dream of comparing myself (or anyone else, come to think of it) to Paco. As most of you already know, he completely revolutionized Flamenco without ever, even for a moment, debasing it. There may have been a time when people would debate whether Paco’s music was Flamenco, since it sounded so new, but history has pretty much put that debate to rest. Paco is Flamenco.

I may be biased, but I think he’s one of the few unequivocal geniuses of the past century in any genre of music. As a virtuoso, as a composer, as an accompanist and as a Flamenco guitarist, he pretty much can’t be touched, and he inspires every Flamenco guitarist who has ever heard him (which is all of us). If you’ve never heard Paco just stop reading and go listen now.

I’ll stop gushing now and just send Paco a very sincere Olé and thank Berklee for finally recognizing a great musical genius.

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