Flamenco giant Manuel Molina dies after short illness

Composer, singer and guitarist was diagnosed with cancer but refused to receive treatment

Alba Molina sings by her father’s coffin on Tuesday.Paco Puentes

Manuel Molina, a composer, guitarist and singer who developed the flamenco fusion genre with his partner Lole Montoya, died early Tuesday morning in Seville. He was 67 years old.

His death represents the departure of one of the fundamental figures of flamenco.

His remains have been taken to the Teatro Romero theater in San Juan de Aznalfarache (Seville), where fans of his music will get a chance to bid him farewell.

Lole and Manuel perform “Nuevo Día” live on state network TVE in 1976.

Molina had been diagnosed with cancer just a few months ago, but refused to accept treatment. His last express desire was to die while performing on stage.

His daughter and artistic partner Alba Molina, a flamenco singer, had prepared a tribute concert with the participation of some of the biggest names in flamenco. But the performance, scheduled for last week, had to be canceled due to Molina’s rapidly deteriorating health.

Ricardo Pachón, who produced many of Molina’s albums with Lole Montoya, said that “listening to Uncle Manuel was like learning the most mysterious keys that opened up the Gypsy way of understanding life and experiencing music.”

A performance by Manuel Molina in later years.

Molina, he added, managed to add a personal touch to the subgenre of bulerías, and incorporated a new poetry into the musical form.

“He continues to be a humble source of truth and wisdom,” said Pachón. “He is a much loved individual, both inside and outside the world of music.”