ALICANTE, Spain, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Band leader Edmundo Ros, who led the introduction of Latin dance music to wartime Britain, died in Spain at the age of 100, friends said this weekend.
Ros led the popular band at London's Coconut Grove and played for Britain's upper crust, including King George, Princess Elizabeth and other members of the royal family.
"He died peacefully at his home in Spain, two months short of his 101st birthday," said John Adrian, secretary of the show-business charity Grand Order of the Water Rats.
Ros retired to Spain at the age of 64. When he called it quits, he disbanded his orchestra and destroyed all of its musical arrangements, The Guardian said Sunday.
Ros was born in Trinidad to a Scottish father and Venezuelan mother and spent his teenage years in Caracas where he learned to play the drums. He journeyed to London in 1937 on a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.
When World War II broke out, Ros had his own band ensconced at the upscale Coconut Grove and was perfectly positioned to lead the post-war boom in Latin dance music.
Ros eventually bought the Coconut Grove and also worked with major acts in the 1950s and 1960s such as Xavier Cugat and Carmen Miranda.