Reviews & Opinions

Interview: Rob Hoff Influences the World Through Music
The Video Interview by David VanAmburg

Rob hoffIntroduction

Dr. Rob Hoff has been a hero of mine for 40 years. We met through fellow musician Mike Moryc shortly after Rob joined the psychology department at Mercyhurst at College in 1971. Now 40 years later, he continues to influence thousands of us, whether through the classroom, by insightful articles, or over the airwaves through his music programs on WQLN such as his current show, JazzFlight, heard every Monday through Thursday.

Rob has supported JazzErie since its inception, communicating with his friends in the national jazz scene, influencing which performers the organization has brought to Erie.

You can read Rob's latest review of Randall Sandke's latest book, Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet:Race and the Mythology, Politics, and Business of Jazz here at

With the publication of this latest review, I thought it appropriate to interview him and learn more about his background, love of music, academic work. Fortunately, Rob parts the curtains a bit from his normal humility, talking about relationships with musicians such as Herbie Hancock, his early music influences, and the value of JazzErie, the Erie Art Museum and organizations like them.

I've divided the interview into five bite-sized segments, all embedded below:

  1. Rob's Early Music Influences
  2. JazzErie's Value To the Community
  3. Integrating Jazz Into Life and Life Into Jazz
  4. Rob, the Radio Guide
  5. Feedback From the Community & Rob's Favorite Musicians


I took many insights away from our chat. For example, while he focuses on the advantages of living in Erie over New York and other large urban areas, one of Rob's desires is for increased corporate support for JazzErie. Perhaps someone in the business community will agree and step forward soon.



Rob's Early Music Influences  & The Emergence of Public Radio In Erie (7:22)


JazzErie's Value To The Community (5:38)


Integrating Jazz Into Life and Life Into Jazz (6:26)


Rob, The Radio Guide (1:54)


Feedback From The Community & Rob's Favorite Musicians (3:46)

By David VanAmburg
December 30, 2011