RUSSELL GARCIA DIES

Following his uncredited (and un-Oscared!) work on LIMELIGHT, Russell Garcia continued his work in jazz, arranging strings for Buddy deFranco and Oscar Peterson’s 1954 album of George Gershwin standards. His 1955 Wigville album was one of the first jazz albums to utilize Schoenberg’s tone-row method, while Four Horns and a Lush Life featured Garcia’s original four-trombone concept. The list of artists he worked with reads like a Who’s Who of popular and jazz music—Judy Garland, Stan Kenton, Julie London, Mel Tormé, and Margaret Whiting, as well as arranging and conducting Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s classic 1957 recording of Porgy and Bess. Garcia’s work in television and film began in the late 1940s and he later scored a number of episodes of popular television shows like Playhouse 90, Perry Mason, Rawhide, The Untouchables, and The Fugitive. producer and director George pal was a fan of Garcia’s 1959 exotica album Fantastica, which led him to hire the composer to compose two classic scores—THE TIME MACHINE and ATLANTIS, THE LOST CONTINENT. In 1966, Garcia sold his possessions and left behind his career in Hollywood to sail the Pacific with his wife in a trimaran spreading the word of the Bahá’í faith before settling in New Zealand in 1971. Russell continued to compose and arrange, and he and Gina spent much of their time volunteering to teach primary school children. In 2002, the couple wrote the opera The Unquenchable Flame, and, in 2009, was awarded The New Zealand Order of Merit from HM Queen Elizabeth II for their Service to Music. Garcia was still touring and playing jazz until a few weeks prior to his death from cancer at age 95.

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