For the love of music

For the love of music
This picture was taken in 1985 at our music concert at Chowdiah Memorial Hall. Seen in the picture are myself and the members of my band, then called, ‘Starlets’. We played only jazz music and used to perform across the city. Every member of the band was talented and had their own unique style. Robert Xavier used to sing and play the guitar. He was known for his versatility. He presently works with Reynolds Music Store. Next, is Trevor Newcastle, who also played the guitar and sang. I still remember that he had a very unique style of playing the guitar.

Victor Francis was the drummer of our band. He was very a simple and disciplined person. Glen Dias was the youngest member and played the bass guitar. His style was very close to jazz. I led the band and played the clarinet, saxophone and the flute. I also wrote music and composed a few pieces which we used to perform during our concerts.

I have lived in Bengaluru all my life. I completed my schooling from Corporation High School in Tasker Town and joined Electronics Radar Development Establishment when I was 19 years old. I was then sent by the company to pursue vocational training in advanced tool design to Madras and Hyderabad.

I developed my love for music from my father Jakes Rozario. He played the trumpet and was also a brilliant tap dancer. As a child, I would accompany him to some his performances. I was mesmerised by the way he played the instrument and tap danced at the same time.

He was the only Indian musician who performed for the British at Taj Hotel in Bombay in 1940. My grandfather Samuel Rozario was also a bandmaster in Indian Army. As I grew up, I developed an equal interest in a academics and music. I was playing with the band even when I was working with Electronics Radar Development Establishment which was then located where the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain presently stands. I would work from 8 am to 4 pm and rush home to practise with the band.

I used to move around the city on my TVS moped. It was a pleasure to ride or drive in old Bangalore, especially around MG Road and Cubbon Park because the roads were empty and the city was free of garbage. We would practise at my house in Austin Town. While jazz was our forte, we occasionally played pop music at restaurants like Omar Kaiham, Talk of the Town (TOT), Chun Lung and Ballerina near Galaxy Theatre. The audience was well-informed and would easily relate to our music whether jazz, pop or rock music.

We have come a long way since our inception. The band was renamed as ‘Rex Rozario Quintet’ in the late 90s. The members have changed but the spirit remains. I recently celebrated my 74th birthday but I continue to grow with my music because I teach students and professionals who have taken up music as a hobby. 

Rex Rozario

(Rex can be reached at 9448675252)    
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