Cathy Segal Garcia, one of L.A. best-known jazz singers and probably its most popular vocal instructor, tells on the Ted Greene Tribute Page about how she met Ted when she was a waitress at the famous Donte’s night club (the site of many great jazz performances, and where I saw George Van Eps and Grant Geissman as a teenager). The cool photo above, from the Ted Greene Flickr archive, is from the period when they gigged together in Studio City.
Here is what Cathy wrote:
I came to Los Angeles when I was 21. I had come from a jazz-musical background, I was mainly a singer, and had attended Berklee, where Ted’s name floated around the guitarists…that was 72-75. When I got here I waitressed at Donte’s, the main jazz club in LA at the time. Ted was there one nite…happened to faint because the music volume bothered him! (you guys know how Ted felt about music volume!) We became friends and when he found out I sang, he suggested getting together… We did, and started rehearsing; we modulated every song at the bridge! Then we were ready for a gig…I put up about 4 or 5 signs at some music stores. I convinced David Abhari from the Sound Room in Studio City to let us play, we were one of the first live bands to play there. I showed up to my first gig in L.A. that nite…to a packed house…no standing room left! We played that club once a week for a year…
One time we were hired for a private party in the Hollywood Hills. About 3/4 way through the party people stopped partying and sat down and listened to the rest of the gig…..That happened more than once!
Words are just words…what they signify is important. To say that Ted was kind and full of humor brings to my mind and body the warmth that Ted, the spirit, is. Ted, the spirit, is not dead and will never die. He has and continues to affect thousands of people because of the quality of livingness that he put out into the world. To not be able to hug him or see the whole package, body and all, is so very sad. But I can visit Ted whenever I want to. He has affected me. Beautifully. What more in this lifetime could anyone want?
Love, Cathy Segal-Garcia