Composer Russ Garcia, 95, dies

Russ Garcia

World-famous composer and arranger Russ Garcia died peacefully at his Kerikeri home at the weekend, aged 95.

Garcia was a composer and arranger who wrote a wide variety of music for screen, stage and broadcast.

He collaborated with many musical and Hollywood stars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Walt Disney, Orson Welles, Ronald Reagan, Judy Garland, Henry Mancini, and Charlie Chaplin.

He was born in Oakland, California, but had lived in New Zealand for some time.

At the height of his career in 1966, Garcia and his wife, Gina, left the United States and set sail for the Pacific, eventually coming to New Zealand and falling in love with the Far North.

Garcia continued to compose and arrange from his Kerikeri home up until his death.

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