Rosa King

Rosa King

Rosa King (14 March 1939 [ [ The dead rock stars club] ] - 12 December 2000) was an American Jazz and blues saxophonist/singer who made her fame in Amsterdam and recorded many albums under a variety of labels.


Rosa was born in Macon, Georgia. Her professional career found her playing with everyone from Ben E. King and Cab Calloway to Eric Burdon and Sly Hampton. Stealing the show at the 1978 North Sea Jazz Festival during a tenor sax battle with the likes of Stan Getz did much to catapult her into stardom. She has appeared in Sesame Street and various European Television shows, as well as the cult film Comeback by Eric Burdon. Many careers were launched in her band, including those of Candy Dulfer, Saskia Laroo, and Alex Britti.

Though quite the icon in Europe, Rosa had little exposure in America during her life except for a few stints in New York, where Rosa maintained an apartment for many years (even while living in Amsterdam).

However, the year before her death Rosa returned to her home state of Georgia to play a handful of gigs with fellow Georgians and friends Joseph Layden and Eric Layden (guitar and bass respectively), Kristina Beaty(vocals and violin), and Dan Walker (keyboards).

That year she also played a huge jazz festival in South Africa and several dates in the Netherlands before her very last performance in Italy, which was an incredible reunion with her former guitarist Alex Britti in a nationally televised concert with nearly 100,000 people in attendance.

Having suffered several small heart attacks the previous week (which Dutch doctors told her was only indigestion), Rosa was a real trooper and was wheelchaired to the foot of the audience for this last performance. She was pronounced dead within 12 hours after this stellar performance during the year that marked the turn of the new millennium.

A Rosa King Foundation has been established in Holland to help out young female artists, and a memorial concert was conducted at the Melkweg concert house in Amsterdam in order to pay tribute to this amazing artist.


Rosa went to school with Richard Penniman (Little Richard). [ Rosa King's Web Site] ] .


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