Santiago “Jimmy” Garcia, singer and accordionist with the renowned Los Garcia Brothers conjunto, was born on August 28, 1974, in Eagle Pass, Texas. Captivated by music from an early age, he was sixteen when he formed Los Clavelitos de Jimmy Garcia, a family-based band, with his brother Joe, Jr., in 1990. The group, which also included his father and Frank Rodríguez, was renamed Los Hermanos Garcia. After the band became popular and attracted a larger audience, it changed its name to Los Garcia Brothers.
Jimmy Garcia helped establish Los Garcia Brothers as a Tejano conjunto known for its electrifying polkas and cumbias that uniquely blended his accordion skills with the band’s outstanding saxophone and forceful percussion sections. The group performed in zoot suits, making it even more appealing to many fans. Garcia and the band recorded such hits as “El Cometa,” “Imposible Olvidarte,” “Viendolo Bien,” “Los Dos Carnales,” and “Te Quiero Mucho, Mucho.” Eleven years after beginning his musical career, Garcia and his band were awarded the 2001 Album of the Year Award in the conjunto category for Los Garcia de Jimmy Garcia from the Annual Tejano Music Awards and also named the Most Promising Band. The following year the group was again awarded Album of the Year in conjunto for their CD La Rayita.
Garcia remained a modest man throughout his life despite enjoying great success in the world of Tejano music. He was also known for his infectious sense of humor and the ability to make friends with complete strangers.
On July 19, 2002, Santiago Garcia died at the age of twenty-seven in a one-car accident near La Pryor, Texas. At the time of his death, he was en route to San Antonio, Texas, where he lived and where he planned to meet his band to begin a two-week tour of Mexico. He was survived by his common-law wife, their son and daughter, and two daughters from a previous marriage. In 2013 Jimmy Garcia and Los Garcia Brothers were inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame.