There are very few people who can have an impact on millions around the globe without being seen and recognized in the process. Think for a moment about the myriad of faces on television sets and newspaper front pages across the globe that are recognized for their efforts to save the environment enact political reform, or strive for a better society. All those individuals are recognized for their efforts.
On the other hand, there are hundreds if not thousands of individuals on this planet that strive to give something back to their fellow human beings and receive little recognition in the process. Marlow Rosado is one such individual. He has toiled largely behind the scenes throughout an impressive musical career that has featured more accolades for work he produced for others than for his own musical talents.
Rosado was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has embraced the Latin music genre that is so dominant in his homeland as his inspiration. Music has been a part of his life since he was a young child, and traces his love of music to a Christmas gift his mother gave him when he was 12 years old. That Christmas, Rosado’s mother gave him an organ as a gift and his talent blossomed from that one simple gift.
Although Rosado would go on to write and produce music for others, he never quit playing the piano. Though not a singer by trade, Rosado has an ear for good music and remains a very gifted piano player to this day.
It would seem that Rosado has left no stone unturned in his quest to discover and become a part of the Latin music genre. His successful works include writing, composing, and performing in genres ranging from salsa, rock, and merengue to hip-hop and reggaeton. Rosado has worked with some of the greatest names within the Latin music scene.
His past collaborations include producing, composing, and performing with the likes of Celia Cruz, Tejana singer Selena, Larry Harlow, Tommy Olivencia, Marc Anthony, Ricar do Montaner, Olga Tañón and Desmond Child. More recently, he arranged and directed the horns sessions for Ricky Martin’s latest production.
With so many well-known artists on his list of past collaborators, one might think it would be hard for Rosado to single out one occasion as more memorable than others. However, when Kreol Magazine asked Rosado just that question he stated:
“There is a legendary group out of Puerto Rico (my home land) that I have been listening to since I was a child. They are the most respected and loved Salsa group and its extremely hard for them to use other peoples material as they do it all themselves. I was fortunate enough to write not one but two songs for two of their albums. It sort of put an amazing seal of approval on my work. The name of the group is “EL GRAN COMBO” and the two songs are “Me Dejo enel Aire” and “Un No Se Que””.
Life Beyond Music
Music will always play a role in Rosado’s life. If you ask the man himself he would probably tell you that music is too big a part of him to ever be separated, but that doesn’t mean that composing, producing, and performing are all that matter to this artist. A married man and father of twin girls, Rosado admits that balancing family with his musical commitments can be difficult.
The key to success in his balancing act, according to Rosado, has been his loving wife. When asked by Kreol Magazine if it was hard to manage that relationship while on the road he replied:
“Yes it is, especially when you have a family, but I have been doing this all of my life and it’s the only thing I know how to do. It pays the bills and my wife is very understanding, It takes a special woman to put up with my lifestyle.”
Aside from his devotion to his own children and family, Rosado believes that his music and music in general are important to future generations of children. Rosado holds a Master’s in Jazz Education and spent a decade of his life teaching elementary students. If Rosado was not in the studio producing and composing, he has no doubt he would be back in the classroom teaching.
Beyond teaching children, Rosado believes the world owes future generations a better place than was given to this generation. At every turn he tries to use his music to fight for children and communities. He is a staunch defender of Latin music and his homeland of Puerto Rico, and will often speak out in favour of musical education curriculum in schools.
Accolades and Future Projects
Rosado has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, both the American and Latin versions, during his illustrious musical career. It was not until February 2013 that he finally won his first Grammy Award. At the American Grammy Awards his second solo album, RETRO, won the award for the Best Tropical Latin Album. Asked about his feelings regarding that victory, Rosado had the following to say:
“As a pianist / arranger / producer, I never thought I had the opportunity to win a Grammy for my very own project. Winning this Grammy arms me with the tools I need to defend music as an art of musicians not of just singers. It also lets other Band leader musicians know that as long as the music is driven by quality, the rest is making everyone aware that you are out there doing it. A Grammy, specially an American Grammy, gives you a loud voice and I intend to use it.”
With the approval of his peers and the community now in hand with that Grammy, Rosado is heading back to the studio to work on his 3rd solo album. Though he is always hard at work on one project or another, his latest solo project will receive the bulk of his attention in the coming months. His music is self-described as very aggressive and his group, “Marlow Rosado y La Riqueña”, is viewed by many as the heavy metal band of salsa.
One thing is certain, Latin music is near and dear to Marlow Rosado’s heart. Whether he is composing for another group, producing a record, or performing his own inspirations; Rosado will be somewhere on planet Earth bringing the best of Latin music to anyone who will listen.