Guitarist and composer Don Latarski is an American institution. His seasoned bandmates declare that nobody plays like him and with a reputation in finger style guitar circles cemented in the image of his guitar picks glued onto his fingernails—they are on to something.
Born in 1953, Latarski grew up in a rural area about 31 miles north of Detroit, MI, close enough to that Motown vibe to trade Little League games for guitar lessons at age 10. He relocated to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon, where he earned a music degree. He studied jazz and classical guitar in college, which proved to be a natural introduction to finger picking. After graduation the U of O quickly hired him to head their guitar studies program and his life since has revolved around music and teaching.
Latarski’s contribution to guitar playing cannot be understated—he has written more than 20 books on guitar instruction, and owns Crescent Studios in Eugene, where he is the audio engineer and producer. In addition to his dedication in teaching, Don has released 15 studio albums, and composed and recorded music for video games, short films, and radio programs. His quirky personality is best captured in his numerous video tutorials posted on YouTube and his Facebook page, including a recent outing, titled Mt. Hopkins Road Wind Guitar—complete with disclaimer not to try this at home.
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