Edmundo Ros

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Edmundo Ros (7 December 1910—21 October 2011) was a British bandleader from Trinidad who helped make Latin American dance music popular in London and throughout the Commonwealth.[1] He ran a series of nightclubs in the Soho area of London, and had weekly radio shows on the BBC during World War II and for many years afterwards. He was regularly featured on BBC television in his show Casa de Salta. He was one of the biggest names in recorded Latin music.[2]

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 in 78rpm, for example.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1]

He retired to Alicante, Spain in 1975, and made no more recordings. He received the OBE in 2000.[1] He died in 2011 at the age of 100.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Edmundo Ros - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London: TMG). 23 October 2011. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/dance-obituaries/8844662/Edmundo-Ros.html. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  2. Bandleader Edmundo Ros dies, 100. BBC News
  3. Pepe Luhtala, liner notes to Tropical Magic, vol 2 of Harlequin Records CD 50. These notes were based on interviews with Edmundo Ros.