Flamenco mourns the death of maestro Manolo Sanlúcar
The guitar genius has left a legacy that will last forever in the history of this art.
The incomparable Manolo Sanlúcar passed away last August 22 due to multi-organ failure. The master of guitarists and key figure of flamenco was born in 1943 in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) and started in this art when he was only seven years old. At thirteen he was already a guitarist in Pepe Marchena's company, and by the age of twenty, his name appeared alongside those of the most renowned personalities of guitar, singing and dancing. The artist devoted himself to this genre and dedicated his entire career to its study and dissemination.
The Town Hall of Sanlúcar de Barrameda has decreed three days of official mourning for his death. The mayor, Víctor Mora, claimed in his social networks that, in addition to considering him an excellent teacher, Manolo Sanlúcar was a great person and friend.
The recently deceased reaped a long list of successes throughout his career. He was awarded the National Music Prize and composed numerous symphonic works, an opera and unforgettable pieces for the National Ballet, such as Medea, or for the film Sevillanas, by Antonio Saura.
His work was always closely linked to cultural products that invoked the South of Spain. Among more than twenty albums, Tauromagia stands out, one of his most recognized works published in 1988. This creation was an example of the union between flamenco and the national holiday. Twenty years later, he proved that his career was still following this line after performing with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Córdoba La voz del color at the Auditorio Nacional de Música. In this performance, the artist paid tribute with percussions and choirs to the pictorial work of Ressendi, a Sevillian painter.
Among his most renowned collaborations is the one with Rocío Jurado and Juan Peña Lebrijano. These three flamenco legends recorded the first Andalusian opera, Evangelio gitano, composed, performed, directed and produced by Manolo Sanlúcar in 1981.
The guitarist also explored the international market and took his art to New York's Carnegie Hall Theater in 1990. Later, in 1992, his premiere in Japan of the symphonic work Aljibe was very well received. Some time later, in 2006, his talent flooded the French capital after participating in the II International Flamenco Festival of Paris.
Although his career includes a large number of compositions, Música para ocho monumentos is an exceptional case. This creation was commissioned by the Junta de Andalucía in 1991. It is a symphonic work in which the artist invested eighteen years of work. In this piece, the orchestra was the protagonist.
Manolo Sanlúcar always learned from the essence of the old and promoted new steles to establish new paths. Many personalities from the world of dance and singing came to his hometown to bid him farewell. Among the attendees, the words of Lolita Flores, who said: "Every great guitarist has his sound and yours will remain in my heart" or Antonio Carmona, a close friend of the artist, who confessed in shock: "His guitar, his way of expressing and exquisite human condition .... We have lost one of the greatest geniuses that flamenco has ever produced".
Today, the artist is considered one of the architects of the new flamenco art. After his death, many say that he closed a cycle within this musical genre.