Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Tributes and Condolences
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Please Be Respectful-Spammers Warning  / Toni Riss (Friend of Parents )  Read >>
Please Be Respectful-Spammers Warning  / Toni Riss (Friend of Parents )
I have not been to the site for a while. Today when I went to post a candle I noticed several spam msgs there. I deleted them. This a memory page for friends and family and anyone who cares to remember Giancarlo. This is not a place for spam msgs. Please be respectful. Close
10 year  / Andrea Colella-Albino   Read >>
10 year  / Andrea Colella-Albino
This year it will be 10 years since you left us. 10 years, it is a lifetime. The pain is still the same, maybe different. it is still there in the eyes of your parents, behind the smiles in the family gatherings, deep inside. We try to mask it, we try to live our lives as if it didn't happen, but it did and there is no remedy. I would have liked to spend more time with you, learn your ways, learn from you, listen to your music, listen to you playing the music that you wrote for Max. I wish you could tell us about your life, your fears, your doubts, so that we could tell you that we had, have and will have the same doubts and the same fears. But you decided to leave, and we had to accept your decision. I am sure you are now spending time with Michael and all the others that left us, some of them before their time. I am sure that one of those bright stars that we see once in a while in the sky is where you are sitting looking at us going through our silly lives and daily trouble. I am sure that those jazz notes that you loved so much and that once in a while I suddenly hear on the radio is your way to say hi to us. But mostly, I am sure that we all miss you and will continue to miss you until we'll see each other again. Love you Andrea Close
After All These Years  / Toni Riss   Read >>
After All These Years  / Toni Riss
It's hard to believe that some time has passed since Giancarlo left us. For me the sadness still creeps in when I least expect it. I was blessed to be given a gift of his music by him mom, Sumico. I listen to him playing and am always taken in by his talent. He was such a light in the world, I felt connected to him right away because jazz is music that reaches out to the world.

I've been blessed to be able to call his parents, friends. I started this tribute as a heartfelt way of honoring Giancarlo, it took the help of his friends and family for me to really put this together as I never knew Giancarlo personally.

I've had the good fortune to spend some of my accumulated airmiles on a Giant computerized telescope I wanted. I've often wondered what might be beyond the stars and planets. I had hoped to see a glimpse of one of my relatives sitting on a cloud waving to me just to say hello. The first night I had a clear view of the heavens I pointed my telescope towards the brightest star in the sky. I have no doubt that Giancarlo lit up the sky for me that night. 

God Bless Giancarlo, Sumico and Luigi and his many relatives.
Missing you  / Jennifer Colombo (1st cousin )  Read >>
Missing you  / Jennifer Colombo (1st cousin )

Wow I didn't know this website existed.  I just would like to say that I miss Giancarlo so much and hope he's finally happy...wherever he is. 

Missing you...  / Victor Cager (Friend)  Read >>
Missing you...  / Victor Cager (Friend)

Young Lion

You made quite an impact on the Dallas Jazz scene we talk of you often !!!!!!!!!!

Even now, more than five years later..  / A. Friend   Read >>
Even now, more than five years later..  / A. Friend
remembering the day you left us is still so hard for me. It makes me want to throw up. In these last five years I've learned that people as genuinely good as you don't come around often in life. I wish I could have told you that and I'm sorry I didn't. Close
Moving On, Never To Be Forgotten  / Toni Riss   Read >>
Moving On, Never To Be Forgotten  / Toni Riss
It has been both a blessing and a challenge to try to build a memorial to Giancarlo. The comfort you have all brought to his family with your kind thoughts and support is greatly appreciated.

As we heal, we move on. We never forget our loved one, but we start to notice sunshine again, and we also say goodbye in our own way.

Giancarlo is in all of us now. Even though I never knew him he's been a huge part of my heart. I think he would be happy to know he has touched so many lives after his passing.

Goodbye Giancarlo, thank you for teaching me not to take life for granted and for guiding me throughout my mourning you.

You are forever in my heart.

Toni Riss Close
Dear Giancarlo  / Jerry Su (friend)  Read >>
Dear Giancarlo  / Jerry Su (friend)

Dear Giancarlo,

I have never forgotten about you.  Your name still pops up in my conversations from time to time as I am honored and blessed to have you as a friend.  I'll always remember the fun times we had growing up as kids and the legacy that you've left behind.  From the amazing piano improvs to chatting at La Madeline's near UTD.  Take care!



The Journey  / Toni Riss   Read >>
The Journey  / Toni Riss
When I first heard about Giancarlo I was absolutely devastated for his family and friends.  Being a jazz lover and a people person it just seemed right that a memorial be created celebrating the joy he brought to everyone who knew him.

I've been fortunate and blessed to be able to meet and know his parents, Luigi and Sumico. They have such a special spot in my heart. Not a day goes by that I don't hug them in my thoughts. They are without question some of the most generous, sensitive and caring people I have ever known.

Over time I've gotten to know Giancarlo. While I never met him in person he and I shared some common bonds. I have felt Giancarlo guiding me through this journey in some very interesting ways. While I was in Hawaii and preparing for the lei ceremony we did for him I was drawn to a very blue and purple lei. Later, I would find out from Sumico, that blue was his favorite color.  This is just one of the many ways I have a feeling he's out there shining down on all of us.

It is my hope that this site has brought comfort to all of you. And that you will continue to share your thoughts as we all continue on this healing journey.

Toni Close
Still miss him.  / MS   Read >>
Still miss him.  / MS
Two years later and I still miss him. Today, like some other days now and then, I saw someone who looked like him. The stranger always gets a smile, and a bit of a wave if they see me before I run away. If they don't see me, like today, I look for a while. I like to pretend it's really him. Today, he doing his homework, waiting for me to show up and meet him for some coffee and a walk, and always a really good talk. I would tell him about how crappy the last couple of days have been. He would chastise me for hiding in my room and being miserable about it, tell me I smelled bad cos I didn't even shower, I just hid. He'd challenge me to think about the problem in another way. He's tell me to exercise maybe to feel better, I'd get mad at him for calling me fat. Then we would plan to go eat something really tasty later on in the day. Every time something big happens in my life, like it just has, I want so badly to be able to talk to him about it. To have a friendly ear, a kindred spirit, someone to help me step back and take a different perspective, to have someone feed me afterwards with some happiness inducing dessert. Close
It Seems Like Yesterday  / Stanford Alum (Friend)  Read >>
It Seems Like Yesterday  / Stanford Alum (Friend)
Giancarlo was gone. The news cut through me like a bolt of lightning. I was numb, shaking and in disbelief. Not Giancarlo, he had everything going for him. Giancarlo was different, he was compassionate, the kind of person who you could count on for anything. Loyal as man's best friend and he didn't ask for much in return. I should have taken better care of him, I should have heard his pain. He wanted to stop feeling, I see that now. Feelers are the hardest people on themselves and they worry about letting the world down. If Giancarlo were still here I would tell him that it was o.k. to be confused about his life, to be unsure of himself, but I would also wrap my arms around him and never let him go. I miss him terribly. Graduation would have been nicer with him smiling at me and celebrating my making it. Close
love and prayers  / Tommy Heyne (Best highschool friend )  Read >>
love and prayers  / Tommy Heyne (Best highschool friend )
Dear Colombos,

Giancarlo was, as you know, my best friend in high school.  We had incredible late night conversations--sometimes just about girls, oftentimes about life, truth, and God.  He was a very good influence on me as a Christian Catholic, and the two of us told each other we would continue to search for that Truth.  Giancarlo helped me to be open-minded and inquisitive, and I will be forever grateful for these traits.  But I am much more grateful for his friendship and sense of humor (which was childish enough to match my own).
He is on my mind often, but particularly as his anniversary approaches.  I suffered a depression this past semester; only a small sample of the psychological, uncontrollable disease that must have overwhelmed Giancarlo.  It was awful, but at least it helped to explain in my heart what seems an unexplicable event.
As always, Giancarlo and you are certainly in my prayers; both in thanksgiving for your kindness, and for God's inimitable gift of consolation and love.
Tommy Heyne
Cistercian '02
Univ. Dallas '06
Theology grad student at Univ. Oxford Close
The Kindness of His Heart  / Linda Brown (friend/tutor for my son )  Read >>
The Kindness of His Heart  / Linda Brown (friend/tutor for my son )
Giancarlo, even your name is just as beautiful as your spirit. I cannot imagine the loss your parents feel not having a beautiful human being like you that brought such joy and blessings to others. But God takes back to Himself that which he gives, when He so chooses. You were a good gift, not only to your parents and family, but to the world. 

You may never know the impact you left upon the hearts of others while here on planet earth. You see now, you still have an impact, even in death. 

It is my sincere prayer that your soul is now at peace resting in the arms of God. We can all summarize and wonder about the content and challenges in your life, but only you and God know the real story.

It really doesn't matter anymore so much about what happened, but what matters most is that YOU did happen in the lives of so many. How warm and precious it is for such a young soul to positively impact the lives of so many. You taught us all how to care better about ourselves and others. 

My only regret is that the whole world will never know the great artist and man you would have become, but we can rest in knowing that you touched us.

May God continue to provide peace and acceptance to your parents and family who probably grieve the most. Know that Gian will never be forgotten even by those who knew him least. Thank you for creating this website and for sharing him with us.

We love you Giancarlo.

I do have an email that he wrote to my son before he passed, if I can share it with you, please let me know. It shows just the kind of man he really was. Caring about everyone in his life. Close
Thank you  / Angelina Colombo (Aunt)  Read >>
Thank you  / Angelina Colombo (Aunt)
I just wanted to thank 'Not Saying' for saying....  We miss Giancarlo very much and it moves me to know that his friends still think about him so profoundly. Close
To Some Reflections  / Toni Riss (Friend of Family )  Read >>
To Some Reflections  / Toni Riss (Friend of Family )
Thank you for sharing from the heart. Everything you said struck a chord with me. I'm right now caught between someones demons and am really concerned about them trying suicide. Unfortunately this person seems to have some sort of a behavioral pattern of this and no one is taking it seriously.

I appreciate your insight, I do take suicide threats seriously to the point that I have been known to get on a plane and fly to where a troubled person is at to try to help them out.  Unfortunately, some people seem to be bent on self destruction.

Giancarlo was asking for help days before his death and his voice wasn't heard. Everything you said is a lesson we all should follow.

Some reflections  / Not Saying   Read >>
Some reflections  / Not Saying
Many ask what it was that pushed GC over the edge. I happen to have been in a position to know some of the things that had troubled him - we'd often spend time talking about that. While I can't speak up on certain things, and I think he would have liked some other things to be talked about.

Where his troubles began is hard to pin down, and he would often say himself that his notion of where they came from would change day to day. However, by the time he got back for his sophomore year, he knew they were there. What worsened these problems was a vicious cycle I'll explain:

It is difficult to bring up non-trivial problems that you face with even your friends. It takes a certain kind of trust and leap of faith that I think our culture discourages. "How are you?" is a greeting phrase instead of a question, and should you bring up anything which isn't cool to talk about, people feel awkward. But here's the catch-22. If you don't open to people, then you can't get the care you want. But if you do open up, you run the very real risk of alienating them. Frailty isn't fashionable. Let's be honest here -  if you didn't know how this story ended, how many of you would really be confortable with the idea of the outwardly cheery, positive Giancarlo telling you that, say, his frustrations with music and perfectionism had led to him abandonning it, yet there is this enormous void that nothing seems to fill? Creepy, isn't it? Chances are you'll probably be evasive, sound vaguely concerned and glad when the topic goes away, right? Well, he sure knew that from experience.

There a distance we keep from one another, and think that isn't 'polite' to give away or recieve these private thoughts of ours. Please be aware that it's a two-way street, it's not simply a matter of 'being there for someone'. You have to have the courage to open up to them as well. You can't look upon hearing someone out as some act of charity, see it like a privilege to be trusted and also being invited to trust in them too.

So I urge anyone reading this to give sincerity in your daily routine a chance. Be that friend, actively, really care - don't just be status quo. Chances are really slim that you'll end up talking to another person who is a suicide risk, but you can really brighten someone's day by being thoughtful and sincere.

ps: Another thing - when someone tells you they are suicidal, please take it seriously. He mentioned once or twice between long stretches that he felt that way at times, and I didn't see it as an emergency. That was my mistake. Please don't let that be yours. Close
Just a note to say I'm sorry  / Michael Bert (none)  Read >>
Just a note to say I'm sorry  / Michael Bert (none)
I have read alot about this young man.  He seemed like he had the world by a string.  I wish we all could know what made him so sad that he would do this.  I can only say that I am terribly sorry for what has happened and wish to offer my condolences to the family.  May God bless him and his family. Close
He Really Moved Me  / Jessica Arcayena (Friend)  Read >>
He Really Moved Me  / Jessica Arcayena (Friend)
I did not have as much time with Giancarlo as I would have liked. We attended separate schools, but our music bond always brought us together.  He really allowed music to just flow through him. Music was his destiny.

Giancarlo was so good at so many things that I sometimes thought he was a bit overwhelmed by his own greatness. I sometimes wonder if he realized that he gave so much to the world just by being himself.

I wish he were still here, he promised me a duet sometime. I guess I'll just have t take a rain check on that now.

I miss him, and I will miss the many talks we might have had. Close
A Year Of Passage for All  / Father Gregory Schweers, O. Cist. (teacher)  Read >>
A Year Of Passage for All  / Father Gregory Schweers, O. Cist. (teacher)

Giancarlo was a student of mine during his senior year of high school at the Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving, TX.  As a Catholic priest as well as a teacher, his death resonated in my life and the lives of our school at so many different levels.  Curiously, though, I was much more interested in his music playing that English Lit -- it was obvious to me where his heart really was -- and that was in music.

 I recall one day being invited to listen to him do a run-through of a Ravel keyboard piece -- including a devilishly difficult coda -- and afterwards he asked me what I thought of his playing.  Offhandedly, I told him it was a 'decently done job' but that he ought to alter the fingering so that he could play it a bit more smoothly!  Well, I thought he was going to blow a gasket when I said that!  He was so passionately convinced that he'd done the best job, my suggestion was a kind of gauntlet being tossed on the ground.  Well, I laughed out loud, walked out of the practice room, and told him that he still needed to try harder. 

Later on, ff course, I confessed to him that all of this was a joke on my part!  He'd played the piece beautifully.  But, it showed me, once again, how much he LOVED the keyboard.  I am so saddened I shall never heard him play again in this valley of tears.  

May the good Lord have mercy on his soul!  We all miss him so!

Things Worth Contemplating  / Jason Roberts (Friend)  Read >>
Things Worth Contemplating  / Jason Roberts (Friend)
I saw this wonderful article on the Internet and being a classmate of Giancarlo's I wanted to post it for all to read. Though I do seem to remember he did like to tan and I always envied how dark he could get.

Things worth contemplating

By Jim Mulvihill
North Adams Transcript

Saturday, May 6
Here I thought I would write a silly column this week about the fake tan I've been cultivating in Texas. You see, my roommate has this gradual tanning moisturizer that really works wonders. Now I've spent the past two weeks obsessing over the hue of my butt.

Dallas, the world capital of superficiality, can really warp a person's priorities. Thankfully, I got an unexpected reality check last night.

I was doing the typical Dallas night out thing, which basically means trolling around aimlessly from bar to bar waiting for something — though nobody knows exactly what — to happen. My homeboys and I had just finished watching two episodes of "Entourage," which only heightened our moronic desire to be seen and look cool.

Eventually, around midnight, we wandered into a joint where there happened to be some live jazz. Dallas isn't exactly renowned for its jazz, but it should be, because their top cats could easily tear it up with the best of New York or New Orleans. Instead, these guys just exist in their own grossly underappreciated community, playing to the same 50 very lucky people week after week.

So my buddies and me wander into this small club on the edge of Fair Park right when these dudes are really finding their best stride. About 30 people filled the room, taking in three saxophones, piano, bass and drums, all wailing away on an improvised modern jazz number so effortlessly complex and beautiful it left me stunned.

I recognized the drummer right away by his distinctive African-style Kufi hat. He used to play with an acquaintance of mine, a young pianist named Giancarlo Colombo, who had dated my girlfriend's sister back in the day. When I used to live in Dallas, we would go see Giancarlo at a sketchy hole-in-the-wall called the House of Jock. To pay the cover for a Sunday matinee session at this joint, you had to pass your $5 to a guy locked in a phone booth-sized closet behind bulletproof glass.

Giancarlo was an unlikely young star in the House of Jock house band, comprised of a revolving cast of mostly aging South Dallas jazz veterans. Giancarlo, barely old enough to order a drink, was trained in classical music from the age of three, but devoted himself to jazz after falling for the infinite possibilities of improvisation. At the time I met him, Giancarlo had just made a difficult decision to drop out of Stanford University and commit to the Dallas jazz scene full-time.

I remember when, in the summer of 2004, Giancarlo told me how much he enjoyed trespassing on the construction site of a high-rise condominium tower in Uptown, now known as The Mondrian for the painter who inspired the building's disjointed style. Giancarlo would break in at night and climb the stairs to the unfinished top level, 20 stories up, where he could stand alone on the edge of a floor with no walls and look out across the buzzing eight-lane Central Expressway to the imposing neon-lit Dallas skyline. This was where Giancarlo liked to think about how he fit into a confusing and unpredictable world. Looking back now I would bet he also thought often about taking one more step off the side.

Later that year Giancarlo gave up on being a full-time jazz musician. It never delivered the fulfillment he was looking for, presumably because music doesn't have provable correct answers to confirm one's brilliance. Math, on the other hand, presented the opportunity to find answers that were absolute truth. So Giancarlo went back to Stanford and resumed earning straight A's.

And then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, Giancarlo wrote a suicide note, pulled his car onto a railroad crossing and sat there until a speeding train took him away. The most common theory for why was that he was such a perfectionist he never felt he was good enough at anything.

One of his former bandmates told me last night he thought Giancarlo was most comfortable and happy playing jazz in Dallas. That was true, to an extent, but only because it didn't matter what he tried, Giancarlo made every endeavor look like something he was born to do. He just happened to be the only one who didn't see it.

The flashback to Giancarlo was a good wake-up call for me, right when I was starting to lose sight of what matters. Somehow I doubt a young man so focused on getting the most out of his life ever spent much time contemplating his tan.

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