Seniority/ Jazz musician looks back
Published 7:00 pm, Thursday, August 11, 2011
Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of chats with local seniors about their lives, youthful aspirations, sources of pride and regret, plus a bit of wisdom to share with younger folks.
Following is an interview with Bob Lasprogato, 70, Westport music man whose jazz band has thrilled folks around Fairfield county for years. Beyond local gigs, he has performed at jazz clubs in France, Belgium and Switzerland. Recently, his jazz band has performed at privates partie and comunity events, including the 50th anniversary party of the Westport Women's Club; the Sunrise Rotary wine-tasting at the Inn at Longshore; the christmas party for the Y's Men; and The Rotary Great Duck Race. The drummer and grandfather of seven who got into music in high school is also a justice of the peace and a Westport Registrar of Voters.
Q: Do you live in Westport?
A: Yes -- since 1990.
Q: Are you married?
A: I am married to a most delightful woman, Joan, who also is my best friend.
A: I have one; Joan has three.
A: Between us, we have seven and one great grandchild, Riley.
Q: Are you retired?
A: Yes and no. I don't have a full-time job, but I sure am busy. I am a drummer for my own band, Uptown Jazz. I also am an actor, a Registrar of Voters in Westport, and, since January, I work part-time for Cablevision as a story producer for "Neighborhood Journal." And, oh, yes, I am a justice of the peace.
Q: What did you do when you worked full-time?
A: My last full-time job was as the media manager of an advertising agency.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I said architect for my high school yearbook, but deep down wanted to be a musician and radio disc jockey. Those two professions won out.
Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your childhood?
A: The lessons from my father with regard to working hard and making your own way in life. I still feel that way.
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
A: My main interest is still music and acting. I don't have any hobbies, per se, except the Revoultionary War and the Civil War.
Q: Do you have a favority movie?
A: My favorite movie is John Wayne's "The Horse Soldiers."
Q: Do you have a favorite actor?
A: I guess my favorite actor is William H. Macy.
Q: What TV show do you watch regularly?
A: Masterpiece Theatre.
Q: Who do you think was the best President of the United States?
A: Abraham Lincoln, since he saved this great nation from disintegrating.
Q: If you could tell the President of the United States one thing, what would it be?
A: Stop spending the country into bankruptcy.
Q: What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
A: Apple crumb pie with whipped cream.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People who don't know what's going on in the world.
Q: What achievements of yours are you most proud of?
A: Being able to give back to the community through my involvement with Rotary, the Masons and any other volunteering that I can do. Also, that I was able to succeed as a musician and radio personality. Finally, being a member of The Sons of the American Revolution -- and their Connecticut line Color Guard.
Q: Best piece of advice for the younger generation?
A: Learn to rely on yourself and understand the real world isn't school or college.
Q: What brings you your greatest joy?
A: Playing a concert with my band or any band. Being with my wife and traveling together.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: Let's see. I've had five or six careers -- and can't wait to see what the next one will be.