Antonio "Tony" Ambriz Garza, who helped launch his sons' musical careers in Tejano music, which in turn helped launch other well-known musicians, died March 27 of natural causes. He was 73.
Garza, whose health had declined in recent years due to a stroke and then leukemia, was known for his passion of music. He decided to put the guitar on hold to help raise his children, but even then he always knew that music would be part of his children's lives.
Those children -- David Lee, Adam and Richard -- went on to have successful careers in the Tejano genre, eventually launching themselves as David Lee Garza y Los Musicales. Together, the siblings and their manager-father went on to play to thousands of Tejano fans and posted seven top 10 titles on the Regional Mexican Albums chart between 1990 and 2002. To date, the band has produced more than 25 albums.
"Tony planted the seeds in the hearts and minds of his boys," says Armando Sanchez, president of the Houston-based South Central Music, the distributor of the band's albums. "His children got that spark for the love of music when they saw their dad play the guitar."
The father and his sons also influenced other Tejano artists such as Ram Herrera, Emilio Navaira, Jay Perez and Marcos Orozco, who crossed paths with the musical family, usually by performing with them.
"Tony was never really into the limelight," Sanchez says. "He just worked hard and showed his children that with hard work and determination they could achieve anything."
Ambriz Garza is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter, Rebecca E. Gomez; sons, David Lee, Richard, Adam; 12 grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.