Lázaro Ros

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A luminary of Afro-Cuban music who performed and preserved the music of the Lucumí, Arará, and Yoruba peoples.
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Lazaro Ros is the world's leading akypwon, or lead singer in the Afro-Cuban tradition of LA Regla de Ocho, a style of music rooted in the Yoruba culture. A founding member of Conjunto Folklorico Nacional, which he helped to form as the National Folkloric Ensemble of Cuba, Ros has continued to explore the akypwon tradition in a variety of mediums. In addition to recording three memorable solo albums, Ros has collaborated with the National Ballet of Cuba, saxophonist/composer Lucia Hergo, and Cuban pop band Mezcla. Ros has composed many pieces for musical theater productions and films including Maria Antonia. Born into extreme poverty, Ros supported himself as a cook and shopkeeper. Initiated into La Regla de Ocho in 1950, he learned many songs from the repertoire of master singer Eugenio de la Rosa. In 1997, Ros claimed that his tour of the United States was going to conclude with his final concerts.