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Edmundo Ros

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Edmundo William Ros OBE (7 December 1910 – 21 October 2011) was a Trinidadian musician, vocalist, arranger and bandleader who made his career in Britain. He directed a highly popular Latin American orchestra, had an extensive recording career and owned one of London’s leading nightclubs.

Ros was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. His mother was an Afro-Venezuelan and his father was of Scottish descent. He was the eldest of four children, having two sisters, Ruby and Eleanor, followed by a half-brother, Hugo. His parents separated after Hugo was born, and after various false steps Edmundo was enrolled in a military academy. There he became interested in music and learned to play the euphonium. From 1927-37 his family lived in Caracas, Venezuela. He played in the Venezuelan Military Academy Band as well as being a tympanist in the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra. Later he received a music scholarship from the government, and, from 1937–42, studied harmony, composition and orchestration at the Royal Academy of Music. At the same time he was the vocalist and percussionist in Don Marino Baretto’s band at the Embassy Club, and also recorded several sides as a sideman to Fats Waller, who was visiting London in 1938.
In the 2000 New Year’s Honours List, Ros (then aged 90), was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). He turned 100 on 7 December 2010.

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