Interviewees

Latzgo, Roger

Born in 1949, Roger Latzgo grew up in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, where his grandfathers, uncles and father worked for the New Jersey Zinc Company. He went to parochial school and then to Stephen S. Palmer High School. At Rutgers College from 1967 to 1971, he was a member of the Glee Club.

In part one, he discusses his family's Slavic roots, his upbringing in Palmerton and musical background in piano and singing, his undergraduate years at Rutgers, his involvement in the Glee Club and its overseas tours in 1968 and 1971, his stance on the Vietnam War and campus protests, and his attending Woodstock in 1969.

Latzgo earned a Master's of Arts for Teachers, with a focus on piano and composition, in 1976 at the newly-formed Mason Gross School of the Arts. In the early 1970s, he settled in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, where he has based his career as a musician, composer and performer. Latzgo developed a style of music called ethnofunkology, which is a blend of folk music and jazz. He plays numerous instruments, including the piano, guitar and saz. He has performed at festivals, concerts, special events, workshops, residencies and embassies. His has recorded three albums, Swing Bohemienne, New Wine in Old Bottles and Wild Nights, at Red Rock Recording in Saylorsburg. In addition to performing and composing, he has taught as an adjunct professor and teaches music privately.

In part two, he discusses his time in the Glee Club, his experiences with the draft and participation in anti-Vietnam War protests, his involvement in a commune in Western Massachusetts, his experiences navigating the music industry during his career, and challenges posed to musicians and performers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also analyzes the influences on his development as a musician: his family heritage, the Glee Club, rock 'n' roll, country western, traveling and being exposed to different types of music in Eastern European and Turkey, and collaborating with a variety of musicians that incorporate different instruments and styles. Latzgo's website can be found at https://www.rogerlatzgo.com/