Edmundo Ros

Trinidadian-born British musician, vocalist, arranger and bandleader

Edmundo Ros OBE FRAM (7 December 1910 – 21 October 2011),[1][2] born Edmund William Ross, was a Trinidadian-Venezuelan musician, vocalist, arranger and bandleader who made his career in Britain.

Edmundo Ros (1957)

Ros's music featured three main types of music: Cuban music, Brazilian music and Caribbean calypsos. Of these genres, Cuban music was the most varied: it included the conga, the ballroom rumba, the mambo, and the cha-cha-cha. Ros introduced the Brazilian samba to England, and it became hugely popular. His Wedding Samba sold three millions copies on 78rpm. He was very popular during the 1950s and 60's.

The orchestrations for his band were designed to smooth the rough edges of Latin music. Ros emphasised the melodic aspects of the music, which he felt was necessary for his audiences. This is something he talked about after his retirement.[3]

He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1910. He was brought up in Venezuela and went to a military college when he was 18. He learned to play the saxophone, euphonium and the drums. He played with the Venezuelan State Opera, and then won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. He studied to be a conductor at the college in 1937. To earn extra money he played on recordings by other people, including Fats Waller, before starting his own band.

During the war he continued with his music, but also worked as an ambulance driver. After the war he opened the "Edmundo Ros Dinner and Supper Club". He recorded more than 50 albums, the most successful was Rhythms Of the South (Decca 1958), which sold more than a million copies.

He retired to Alicante, Spain in 1975, and made no more recordings. He received the OBE in 2000. He died in 2011 at the age of 100.

References change

  1. Steward, Sue (22 October 2011). "Edmundo Ros obituary". Theguardian.com.
  2. "Band leader Edmundo Ros dies, 100", BBC News, 22 October 2011.
  3. Pepe Luhtala, liner notes to Tropical Magic, vol 2 of Harlequin Records CD 50. These notes were based on interviews with Edmundo Ros.