Destined to become the leader of what was perhaps the most highly acclaimed of all English dance bands during the 1930s, Bert Ambrose was born in London but crossed the Atlantic as a lad with his auntie to settle for a few years on U.S. soil. His very first professional engagement was as violinist for Emil Coleman at Reisenweber's restaurant in New York. He then worked in a big band at the Palais Royal. By 1917 he was directing musical entertainments at New York's Club de Vingt, and remained there through 1920. Although he led a band at Clover Gardens in 1924, Ambrose maintained a steady professional presence in London during the 1920s, periodically leading bands at the Embassy Club from 1920-1926 and in the Mayfair Hotel from 1927-1933.