Inspiration does not require any length of time to seep in through your skin. More so when its source is Edmundo Ros O.B.E.

Born in Trinidad December 7, 1910, Edmundo Ros celebrates his 100th birthday today. Nearly one hundred years of entertaining crowds and inspiring musicians and composers such as myself the world over. Getting his big break performing for Princess Elizabeth, Edmundo Ros went on to the heights of international stardom, setting landmarks in the music industry with successes such as The Wedding Samba, which sold three million copies, and his album Rhythms of the South (1958), one of the first high-quality LP albums released.

At age 90, Edmundo Ros was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List.

I had the privilege of crossing paths with Edmundo Ros in 1981 at the Gibsong Festival. There, in his capacity as chairman of the festival board, he honoured me with two awards; the Gibsong Festival Gold Medal and the Best “Rest of the World” Award, for my instrumental composition Clown at the Keyboard. I carry these awards with pride as any person should when their work has been granted recognition.

However, it is with even greater pride that I carry within my heart the honour of calling Edmundo Ros, friend. It is as a friend that I wish him the very best on his 100th birthday and thank him for the joy and inspiration he has shared with the whole world through his talent and personality.

Happy Birthday, Edmundo Ros.

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