Latvian flamenco guitarist Kārkliņš, known as Andrés el Letón, dies in Rīga

Flamenco guitarist and poet Andris Kārklīņš, who performed under the stage name Andrés el Letón, died March 26 in a Rīga hospital after a serious illness, Latvian media report. He was 69.

Kārkliņš was a popular performer in the Latvian-American exile community and beyond.

“The guitar plays me” (”Ģitāra spēlē mani”) is a phrase Kārkliņš often repeated, as in a 2008 article about him in the Latvian website Andris Kārkliņš

Andris Kārkliņš, known as Andrés el Letón, performs a concert of new music in Minneapolis during a 1983 U.S. tour. (Photo by Andris Straumanis)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.