and MAC Winner Andy Garcia Dies
The passionate and thrilling
voice of Andy Garcia has been silenced. On Wednesday of last week,
his family announced that the Bistro and MAC Award winner passed away
on November 19, 2002 in California. He was 49 years old and had been
fighting a winning battle with brain cancer for the last several years.
He had also suffered a mild stroke. Ultimately, he died from kidney
failure as a result of diabetes that was detected until too late.
the 1988 Bistro Award as Outstanding Vocalist and the 1988 MAC Award
for his cabaret debut. He was nominated the following year again by
MAC. A multiple "Critic's Choice" winner in Private Lives Magazine,
The NY Native, Night & Day, Nightlife Magazine, Theater World and
Cabaret Hotline, Andy will always be remembered for his unique, emotionally
charged tenor voice that won him critical and personal acclaim - as
well as legions of fans.
He sang with
pure honesty and emotion punctuated by dramatic phrasing that often
brought audiences to their feet in the middle of his shows. Prior
to his official Manhattan cabaret debut in 1988, Andy had won rave
reviews and built a huge following performing in Provincetown, Ft.
Lauderdale, Chicago, Denver and many hotels and clubs around the country.
However, it was his singing in local colorful nightspots like, the
Village Gate, Cary's, The 5 Oaks, Kelly's, the East Five Three, Gypsy's,
Club Manhattan and Waverly/Waverly that brought him local acclaim.
He was also a favorite of night club entrepreneur Ted Hook. Later,
he went on to win critics over at cabarets including, Upstairs at
Greene Street, Don't Tell Mama, Oh! Johnny, and The Triad. He was
one of the highlights of the acclaimed "Miracle on 35th Street" benefit
for the Manhattan Center for Living in 1997, hosted by Susan Sarandon
with, Tom Andersen, Betty Buckley, Jim Caruso, Tom Coviello, Baby
Jane Dexter, Judy Kaye, Liliane Montevecchi, Vivian Reed, Stiller
and Meara, Billy Stritch, The Tonics and Liza Minnelli. He brought
the house down singing an a Capella version of "Silent Night" in medley
with "You'll Never Walk Alone."
Garcia concert turned into a love-fest between him and his loyal following
of fans. His songs of the heart touched audiences wherever he sang.
He was best known for sometimes "schmaltzy" songs that touched a nerve
like, "Memory," "What Kind of Fool Am I?", "No Matter What Happens,"
"Ship in a Bottle," "Music of the Night," "Danny Boy" "The Best Thing
You've Ever Done," "The Rose" "Two For the Road," "Nessun Dorma,"
and his theme song, "The Wind Beneath My Wings." His favorite song
was "I'll Be Seeing You" which he often sang with the late Grove Street
icon Marie Blake.
lyric tenor brought him to the attention of Sammy Cahn who requested
that Andy audition for him privately for a show he hoped to bring
to Broadway. Andy sang, "Be My Love" and Cahn was blown away when
he held the final high C for many bars. Unfortunately, the show didn't
materialize. Critics like the Late Bob Harrington called him "...
the Pavarotti of cabaret." Marty Schaeffer said, "He has no peers."
The late Curt Davis (co-founder of MAC and NY Post critic) ran out
of adjectives describing Andy and didn't understand why he wasn't
a household word. He was twice named "Pick of the Week" by The Post.
Last week a private memorial service was held in his native Bricktown,
NJ. As always, it was a packed house.
of his life and music is being planned by John Hoglund (Andy's former
manager) and will be announced in the coming weeks. This special celebration
will feature an impressive lineup of New York's finest artists and
benefit one of Andy's favorite charities. The event will celebrate
Andy's life and the songs he sang. Video clips of Andy in performance
will be shown. He was a beautiful person on or off stage and he will
be sorely missed by many who were touched by his talent - and his
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