Vocalist JULITA ROSS is known for her sultry interpretations of romantic boleros, but her forte was La Danza, which earned her the name “Great Lady of the Danza.”
Julita was born in the Arenales section of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to Ramón Ross Guzmán and Clemencia Alezo Ortiz. At 4, her family moved to Santurce, where she received her primary and secondary education and graduated from Central High School. There, she participated in a wide variety of social and artistic functions and developed her voice.
In 1940, she joined the vocal group Industrias Nativas (Native Industries), produced by the brothers Jacobo, Luis, and William Córdova Chirino, who transmitted through the radio station WIAC until 1945.
During World War II, Julita entertained the troops as part of the “USO” (United Service Organization). Afterward, she moved to New York, where she appeared in Hispanic venues such as El Teatro Puerto Rico and on the radio stations WWRL and WHOM.
In 1947, she was offered a recording contract. Also, she recorded the boleros “Diez Años” (Ten Years) by Rafael Hernandez and “Aunque Me Llores” (If You Cry For Me) by Claudio Ferrer. In 1948, she recorded and interpreted forty-nine Danzas by composers such as Juan Morel Campos, Manuel Gregorio Tavarez, Rafael Alers, and Angel Mislan.
In 1953, she returned to Puerto Rico and hosted the radio show “La Voz de Borinquen” (The Voice of Puerto Rico) on WNEL. There, she earned the title “The Great Lady of the Danza.” Her debut recording was “Julita Ross Canta Danzas” (Julita Ross sings Danzas).
In 1961, she recorded “Julita y Chago,” and in 1968, “La Siempre Recordada Julita Ross” (The Always Remembered Julita Ross). In 1966, she moved to Levittown, Toa Baja, where she participated in various cultural activities sponsored by The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. In 1974, she was honored by the Cayetano Coll y Toste Club in Arecibo. Also, she was awarded the keys to the city and inducted into the Arecibo Hall of Fame.
Julita Ross died in Levittown, Toa Baja, on June 29, 1981. The cause of death was a heart attack. She is buried at Los Cipreses Cemetery in Bayamón. Two years after her death, the Mayor of Toa Baja honored her by renaming the Levittown theater “El Teatro de Bellas Artes de Julita Ross.”

Selected Discography

Julita Ross – Danzas Vol. 1,2,3 (1997)
No Me Escribas (2001)
La Borinquena y Otras Danzas (2001)
Julita Ross – Danzas Vol. 2 (2000)
Virginia Lopez y Julita Ross (1999)
Julita Ross – Danzas Vol. 3 (1997)
Julita Ross – La Dama de la Danza (1994)


Wikipedia, Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP); Music of Puerto Rico (http://musicofpuertorico.com); Discogs (http://discogs.com).
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know has access to credible information about Julita Ross, please contact me at delapena2911@gmail.com. Information must be verified and vetted prior to publication.
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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