#25 - The Dawnbreakers - Russell & Gina Garcia 

Welcome to Episode 25, “The Dawnbreakers,” featuring Russell & Gina Garcia. Raised in Oakland, CA, Russell Garcia (1916-2011) was a world-renowned composer, arranger, and conductor, working for decades with jazz icons, as well as for major Hollywood film and tv productions. Gina Mauriello Garcia (1931-present) is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, NY. Together the Garcias left their lavish Hollywood lifestyle in 1966, after embracing the Baha’i Faith. Called to spread the Baha'i message through song, the Garcias sailed across the islands of the Pacific Rim for the next 6 years doing just that. They ended up in New Zealand, where they directed their musical message to children and founded the charitable music organization, the Build a Better World Foundation. Through the Garcias, we’ll be exploring the Baha’i Faith and its relationship with American jazz. Welcome to the unquenchable flame…

2 comments

  • Pauline Hamblin
    Pauline Hamblin New Zealand.
    I was delighted to see the early photograph, of your grandparents I came to know and love. Gina now on her own is like an extension of my family, I love her dearly. It must be hard for all of you to be so separated at the moment. Take care of yourselves in these dangerous times, till we all meet again. All our love Bruce and Pauline. xx💕🌹

    I was delighted to see the early photograph, of your grandparents I came to know and love. Gina now on her own is like an extension of my family, I love her dearly. It must be hard for all of you to be so separated at the moment. Take care of yourselves in these dangerous times, till we all meet again. All our love Bruce and Pauline. xx💕🌹

  • Herlinda MAHLER
    Herlinda MAHLER North San Diego County
    In 1962, I met David Garcia in an Anthropology class at Los Angeles City College. He was still a teen—had just gotten off the road (he’d played percussion with the Stan Kenton band). I was a Jazz vocal major, so we quickly became friends. He arranged for me to study with a vocal coach. “My dad said he’s good—he’s worked with Ann-Margret and other talented vocalists.” I’d never been to the Valley, so he said, “No problem! My parents are building a house in the hills—meet me there and I’ll show you how to get to that coach’s studio.” When I arrived at their home that morning, it was still under construction, nearly done. It was the most beautiful contemporary home I’d ever seen (The Rainbow House?). I was thrilled to get to meet his parents that day. What a lovely, warm and charming couple they were. Finally, I followed Dave down the hill (in my black VW Bug), thanked him and waved goodbye. The next year he attended a boarding school in Australia. We became pen pals—finally lost touch. Now, I’m almost 80, but my memories of those days are still so vivid. Dave was such a sweet, unassuming, caring, handsome, bright, fun young man! Over the years, I’d wondered what had become of him. Sadly, almost 40-years later, after a friend’s concert (‘08), I ended up sitting next to his parents at The Jazz Bakery. As we were leaving, they were so kind to me. I asked about their fabulous home (had no idea they’d sold it) and, of course, I asked about their son... I’d expected to hear he’d retired, had led a life of purpose and accomplishment... I was stunned when your grandfather told me how ill his only son had been and had recently passed away in Mexico (2007). He died far too soon. I do hope he had. at least been happily, married, had children and grandchildren. Actually, I wish I could have spent more time with your grandfather. I would have shared that he and my father were both born in 1916, and my dad was an actor before the 2nd World War. My mother’s favorite brother barely survived The Battle of the Bulge. He later became an Attorney. It’s amazing how many men survived that horrible event, but managed to lead successful, brilliant careers after that dreadful war. Certainly, your grandfather was one of the most accomplished. May they all—including David—Rest In Peace. All the Best to You and Yours, Herlinda Mahler (San Marcos, CA)

    In 1962, I met David Garcia in an Anthropology class at Los Angeles City College. He was still a teen—had just gotten off the road (he’d played percussion with the Stan Kenton band). I was a Jazz vocal major, so we quickly became friends. He arranged for me to study with a vocal coach. “My dad said he’s good—he’s worked with Ann-Margret and other talented vocalists.” I’d never been to the Valley, so he said, “No problem! My parents are building a house in the hills—meet me there and I’ll show you how to get to that coach’s studio.” When I arrived at their home that morning, it was still under construction, nearly done. It was the most beautiful contemporary home I’d ever seen (The Rainbow House?). I was thrilled to get to meet his parents that day. What a lovely, warm and charming couple they were. Finally, I followed Dave down the hill (in my black VW Bug), thanked him and waved goodbye. The next year he attended a boarding school in Australia. We became pen pals—finally lost touch. Now, I’m almost 80, but my memories of those days are still so vivid.

    Dave was such a sweet, unassuming, caring, handsome, bright, fun young man! Over the years, I’d wondered what had become of him. Sadly, almost 40-years later, after a friend’s concert (‘08), I ended up sitting next to his parents at The Jazz Bakery. As we were leaving, they were so kind to me. I asked about their fabulous home (had no idea they’d sold it) and, of course, I asked about their son... I’d expected to hear he’d retired, had led a life of purpose and accomplishment... I was stunned when your grandfather told me how ill his only son had been and had recently passed away in Mexico (2007). He died far too soon. I do hope he had. at least been happily, married, had children and grandchildren.

    Actually, I wish I could have spent more time with your grandfather. I would have shared that he and my father were both born in 1916, and my dad was an actor before the 2nd World War. My mother’s favorite brother barely survived The Battle of the Bulge. He later became an Attorney. It’s amazing how many men survived that horrible event, but managed to lead successful, brilliant careers after that dreadful war. Certainly, your grandfather was one of the most accomplished. May they all—including David—Rest In Peace.

    All the Best to You and Yours,
    Herlinda Mahler
    (San Marcos, CA)

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