Ernesto Rossi

Real name: Rossi, Ernesto Ovidio
Nicknames: Tití
Bandoneonist, composer, leader and arranger
(8 December 1916 - 6 May 1985)
Place of birth:
Guaminí (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Julián Ortiz

e was born in Guaminí, province of Buenos Aires. He belongs to a family of musicians. His first teacher was his father who was a bandleader and with whom, at age ten, he played violin and trumpet. However he studied bandoneon, his preferred instrument, to which he devoted his whole life.

He was 21 years old when he arrived in Buenos Aires to try his luck. He came with his brother Carlos that was a singer. Soon thereafter he got his first job in the staff orchestra of Radio Belgrano which was then conducted by Mario Maurano. Time later, in 1939, he joined the Nicolás Vaccaro Orchestra to appear at the Dancing Novelty.

Later he joined the orchestra led by Antonio Rodio as musician and orchestrator to appear on Radio El Mundo and Radio Splendid. The bandoneon section was lined up by Luis Bonnat, Eduardo Rovira and Antonio Ríos. It was by that time when he decided to complete his musical background by studying harmony, counterpoint, fugue and scoring with maestro Gilardo Gilardi. He also attended the Conservatorio Nacional de Música.

Between 1941 and 1944 he was the lead bandoneon in the orchestra fronted by Edgardo Donato with whom he appeared on radio stations, balls and nigh venues of that time. Later he was in charge of putting together the outfit for Francisco Rotundo. In it for eleven years he was the arranger and the lead bandoneon.

In 1956 he was arranger of the Héctor Varela’s orchestra. Furthermore for over a decade he alternated his work as player with his job as musical advisor in the Perrotti publishing company. There a great number of his special arrangements and his variations for bandoneon are filed.

Two years later he formed his own aggregation. He made his debut on Radio El Mundo with his two vocalists: Alfredo Dalton and Luis Correa. He also appeared in La Armonía on Corrientes Avenue, the Richmond of Esmeralda, the Novel, at dancehalls like the Palacio Güemes and La Argentina, at the famous cabaret Marabú and on Radio Belgrano. But then tango was declining.

In 1960 he decided to travel abroad with the singer Alberto Marino after having signed a contract for three months to appear in the United States but he stayed for eight years. He was featured as soloist and as accompanist, among others, in the orchestra that appeared in the Metro’s musical comedy, Off Broadway. Also at the Auditorium of the United Nations.

He returned to our country in 1968 and devoted himself to teaching and to exclusively work as arranger for Héctor Varela.

He was prolific as composer. Here we have some of his numbers: "Bien bohemio", “Muchachos mi último tango”, “Malvado”, “Muñeca del Once”, “Por qué me la nombran”, “Siempre tu voz”, “Pa’ que te oigan bandoneón”, “No me hablen de ella”, a hit by Varela with Rodolfo Lesica on vocals; “Me han prohibido quererte”, “Así bailaban mis abuelos” and lastly, the milonga “Azúcar, pimienta y sal”, possibly, his most widely spread and popular piece.