Garcia was an autodidact at guitar, which he began playing nine years old. He played with Tony Scott (2) in 1950, and following this with Charlie Parker, George Shearing, and Joe Roland. He was with Scott again in 1955, and then recorded with Milt Buckner, John Glasel, Joe Puma, Lenny Hambro, and Bobby Scott. He released an album as a leader on Dawn (3) in 1956 entitled "A Message From Garcia", featuring Bill Evans, Tony Scott (2), Gene Quill, and Frank Isola. In the 1960s he toured with Shearing again as well as with Kai Winding.