Irvine Barclay Theatre


The concert honors the legacy of Paco De Lucía with fiery music and dance.

Paco de Lucía Project

Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 8pm

Tickets: $45, $55, $65, $110

Irvine Barclay Theatre - 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA | 949.854.4646

Paco de Lucía was widely considered to be the world’s premier flamenco guitarist and by many to be Spain’s greatest musical export. Paco de Lucía Project reassembles the original band that toured with the legendary flamenco guitarist for the last 10 years of his career. 


This uniquely personal tribute will include de Lucía's jewels such as "Zyryab," "Canción de Amor" and "Entre dos Aguas," as well as passionate flamenco dance.

The concert will include the dancer Farruco, who hails from an illustrious Spanish flamenco dynasty: his grandfather, El Farruco, was the greatest gypsy dancer of the 20th century.


LINEUP: Antonio Sánchez (guitar); Antonio Serrano (harmonica); Alain Pérez (bass); Israel Suárez “Piraña” (percussion); David de Jacoba (vocals); Antonio Fernández “Farruco” (dance)


YouTube: Paco de Lucia Project trailer

NPR Feature


2011 interview with late guitarist Paco de Lucía




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 the United States, 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.”


Meanwhile, guitarist Antonio Sánchez has embraced the challenges of his uncle´s legacy with unfailing grace.


"I take carrying on Paco's music with great humility. It's a real challenge," said 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.”


While accompanying de Lucía, the members of the group showcased their talents mostly in the space for jazz-style soloing that the guitarist had opened in his music. As it turns out, besides the obvious challenges, the sextet’s reunion also presented opportunities.


“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.”





Alain Pérez (Bass) was born in Trinidad, Cuba, and his early musical studies included classical guitar and piano. His early Cuban musical credits include recordings with Chucho Valdés and Issac Delgado. He was part of the “Cuba Team” all-stars, who toured Europe in 1998. He made his recording debut with Paco de Lucía in 2004 on the Latin Grammy Award-winning CD, Cositas Buenas, produced by Javier Limón. Pérez has collaborated with Celia Cruz, Enrique Morente, Paquito D’Rivera, Chick Corea, Diego el Cigala, Jerry González, among others. He has released a number of solo recordings, including the 2015 CDs El Alma del Son: A Tribute to Matamoros and Hablando con Juana.


Antonio Serrano (Harmonica) is a Madrid native who had studied harmonica from the age of seven. He studied under the great Larry Adler, with whom he first achieved international recognition on the European concert stage. His studies have ranged from the classical idiom to that of blues, jazz and pop. He has played with or recorded with Toots Thielemans and Wynton Marsalis and has performed original classical concertos for harmonica, as well as arrangements of Gershwin, Piazzolla and others. He and Paco de Lucía are credited with introducing the harmonica to flamenco when Serrano joined the guitarist’s ensemble in 2004. He has released 11 solo albums, including Harmonious (2012).


Antonio Sánchez (Guitar), born in Madrid in 1984, began to study flamenco guitar at an early age with his uncles Paco de Lucia and Ramón de Algeciras, and with his cousin, José María Bandera. He continued his training with the maestro Juan Manuel Cañizares. His career started in the flamenco tablaos of Madrid and Barcelona, touring with the flamenco ballet companies of Antonio Marquez and Domingo Ortega. In 2010, he joined the Paco de Lucia ensemble as second guitar, touring with de Lucía throughout Europe and North America.


David de Jacoba (Vocals) is considered one of the most important young flamenco artists in the world today. His debut album, Jubileo, produced by Lucky Losada and Carlos de Jacoba, was nominated for Best Album by a New Singer at the Flamenco Hoy Awards. The CD features a who’s who of flamenco stars, from Pepe Habichuela and Vicente Amigo to Juan Antonio Salazar and Tomatito. Paco de Lucía chose David to accompany him during his last four years on tour. David’s credits also include collaborations with flamenco greats Enrique Morente, Joaquín Cortés, Sara Baras, Niño Josele and Duquende, as well as leading figures in Latin jazz, including Giovanni Hidalgo and Jerry González.


Israel Suarez “Piraña” (Percussion) is one of the most renowned cajón (box drum) players in the world. He began his career with the singer Niña Pastori and has performed with a panoply of major stars, including Vicente Amigo, Sara Baras, Antonio Canales, Arcángel, Luz Casal, and Buika, as well as American pop artist Lenny Kravitz, Portuguese fado star Mariza and Latin pop singers Ricky Martin and Alejandro Fernández. Piraña (whose nickname refers to the ferocious piranha fish) toured and recorded with Paco de Lucía’s ensemble for over 10 years, a special honor given De Lucía’s groundbreaking role in introducing the Peruvian cajón to the traditional flamenco ensemble.


Farruco (Dancer) is the brother of the great dancer Farruquito.  Born Antonio Fernández Montoya in Seville in 1988, he took his famous grandfather’s artistic name, Farruco, as his own. He made his debut on the international flamenco scene in Berlin at the age of two; and made his U.S. debut in 2001 in his brother’s show, Farruquito and Family. In 2006, he premiered his first solo show and embarked on a world tour that included the New York City Center. His credits reach beyond flamenco, including performances with Beyoncé, Björk, Marc Anthony and Paulina Rubio. He toured his second choreographed work, Los Farruco, from 2008 to 2009. During this period, he also found the time to write music and lyrics for Tomatito, Los Makarines, and for his brother’s flamenco show, Puro. In 2010, he joined Paco de Lucía’s company, performing in over 100 shows worldwide with the guitar legend.


Javier Limón (Producer). A graduate of the Madrid Royal Conservatory, where he studied classical piano, oboe and guitar, Javier Limón began his career as a composer, working with various flamenco artists. Raised in Spain, he traveled to New York City at an early age to train in American arts schools. After meeting Bebo Valdés and Jerry González, Limón began working in Latin jazz with Cuban musicians, in addition to working in flamenco. In 2004, Limón was awarded the Latin Grammy for Producer of the Year for his work on five records: Lágrimas Negras by Diego el Cigala and Bebo Valdés; Cositas Buenas by Paco de Lucía; El Cantante by Andrés Calamaro; El Pequeño Reloj by Enrique Morente; Niño Josele by Niño Josele; and the multi-artist collection Tributo Flamenco a Don Juan Valderrama. In 2009, Limón won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for recording Juntos Para Siempre, a series of father-and-son piano duets by Bebo and Chucho Valdés. Limón has combined several professional occupations within the worlds of art and communication. Although he has mainly focused on composition and the production of albums, film scores and television shows, his work as a communicator and teacher is equally impressive. He is currently the artistic director of the Mediterranean Music Institute at the Berklee College of Music.


This event is sponsored by: Drs. Hana and Francisco Ayala


Irvine Barclay Theatre 2019-2020 Season sponsor: UCI Health


About Irvine Barclay Theatre

Since opening its doors in 1990, Irvine Barclay Theatre has emerged as one of California's most imaginative performing arts showcases. A unique collaborative venture among the City of Irvine, the University of California, Irvine, and the private sector, the theatre has a reputation for wide-ranging programming in the fields of contemporary dance, music, and theater arts. Performances take place in the 750-seat "jewel box" theatre which is renowned for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics. Visit to learn about our exciting new season!