The first anniversary of the death of legendary Northland composer/arranger Russ Garcia will be marked with a film showing and a musical tribute this Sunday.
Californian-born Garcia and his wife Gina made the Bay of Island's Te Puna Inlet their home in the 1970s, later settling in Kerikeri. He died on November 20 last year, six months after an epic concert celebrating his 95th birthday.
Mr Garcia was described as "the most famous Northlander you've never heard of" because he had a low profile outside musical circles - yet he had worked with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Walt Disney and Clint Eastwood in a film and music career spanning 70 years. He was just 11 when the Oakland Symphony Orchestra first played one of his arrangements but he got his first real break from a radio show director who later became US president, Ronald Reagan.
Sunday's event will include a 25-minute TV film about Garcia's life, called They Followed Their Hearts, followed by young Northland singers performing the music he penned for the Kerikeri High School musical Looking Glass World.
That musical launched the career of Broadwood-born singer Joanna Foote, now singing opera in Europe. Organisers hope she will be able to take part via Skype.
The event starts at 3pm on Sunday. Admission is by gold coin donation with proceeds to the Turner Centre's scholarship fund for emerging talent.