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Flamenco guitarist William "Paco" Strickland passes away at 60


Flamenco guitarist William “Paco” Strickland passed away Monday afternoon after battling multiple myeloma – a form of blood cancer – for years. 

In the early 90s, Strickland launched what became a nationally-syndicated flamenco guitar show called “Flamenco Café” on WHQR.  The station carried his show for more than 15 years. 

He also continued to play flamenco music in venues around the area.  Exactly four years ago today, he performed on the program Soup to Nuts Live in the WHQR Gallery.  And he talked with WHQR’s George Scheibner about his struggle with cancer.


"Bone marrow, I still don’t -- you know, I kind of reject its thought.  ‘I reject you!’  And so therefore, I’m trying to not pay a lot of attention to the actual disease of it.  But it has not affected my playing.  In fact, sometimes you can focus more on something – in spite of an obstacle.  And I’ve been able to do that, so I’ve been saying, ‘Wow, where are these licks coming from?’  Maybe I just wasn’t hearing them before.”

Paco Strickland married his long-time partner, Connie Nelson, in a private ceremony on Saturday – just two days before his death.  WHQR’s Jemila Ericson officiated. 

Friends say a remembrance will be held later this month. 

William “Paco” Strickland was 60.