Alyssa Lazar
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Alyssa Lazar

Scranton, PA | Established. Jan 01, 2008

Scranton, PA
Established on Jan, 2008
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"Alyssa Lazar: Sing Us a Song She's the Piano Girl"

The words to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” echoed into the streets of Pinebrook corners right up the road from Dunmore’s Schautz Stadium.

As you got closer to Crotti’s on Ash, a popular bar-restaurant on Pinebrook corners, you could hear the beautiful booming voice of a very young lady. The words of the song seemed to resonate and have meaning to the impressive, attractive teen who was seen playing piano and singing the Billy Joel classic.

And then you looked a little closer and saw the multi talented Alyssa Lazar, only 19, unassuming in some ways but with a maturity in the music world beyond her years. The world is her oyster.

Daughter of Mark and Maureen Lazar, Alyssa is in town for the summer playing her solo gigs at spots such as Crotti’s on Ash, Andy Gavin’s in Green Ridge, McNally’s in Green Ridge, and possibly Russell’s in Scranton’s hill section, the Oak Street Express in Taylor and LaCucina in Dunmore.

But the young talent, who also plays guitar and ukulele, has taken her star to Nashville where she recently completed her freshman year at Belmont University. She studies commercial music.

Doin' Dunmore - Alyssa Lazar“I love being in Nashville,” she said. “It’s a crazy shift. It really is a big city with a small town feel. Everything is about music there. In Nashville, almost the whole population is into music.

“I want to be around people who are passionate about the same thing as me. In Nashville, I am with people who love music all the time.”

Alyssa, well spoken and articulate, has a vision. “In the big scheme,” she said, “I want to bring the old rock n’ roll past back into music in a really big way. That’s what brought me to Nashville. I want to bring that passion back into music.

“I love the old music from the 50’s through the 80’s. I grew up listening to that music thanks to my parents. My only goal is to be a musician and singer-song writer.”

Alyssa’s dad Mark was born and raised in Dunmore. He graduated from Dunmore High School in 1982. “He is a Dunmore guy all the way,” she said.

Her mom was born and raised in North Scranton. She can often been seen cheering Alyssa on at various gigs. Both her parents are very supportive, attending all of her local gigs.

Alyssa, herself, is a 2017 graduate of Abington Heights. She started singing at age four, took up piano at age nine from Cathy Shefski at The Music Studio, took up guitar at age 12 at Gallucci’s in downtown Scranton and started performing gigs at 14.

Her first gig was at downtown Scranton’s “First Night.” Shortly after, she was performing as a young teen at the old Damon’s Restaurant in Clarks Summit and Andy Gavin’s in Green Ridge.

Her first singing performance was at age six when she opened up her dance recital. She also sang at Abington Heights sports events and Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees and RailRiders baseball games. She sang the national anthem at the Little League World Series in Williamsport twice and at Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders games every year since she was 13.

Doin' Dunmore - Alyssa Lazar on guitarAlyssa came out with her own CD last year. It’s called “570.” The CD title has great meaning to the spirited teen. “It’s named after our area code, because they are all stories about events and people from my hometown.”

Alyssa will have another CD coming out with all new music this July.

She has upcoming gigs June 8, June 23 and July 20 at Crotti’s on Ash in the Petersburg section of Scranton; July 6 and August 4 at Andy Gavin’s in Green Ridge; and July 28 before a RailRiders game at PNC Field, Moosic. There are pending gigs this summer at Russell’s in East Scranton, Oak Street Express in Taylor and LaCucina in Dunmore.

She is in town performing locally till late August and then will return to Nashville to begin her sophomore year of college.

Her music is typically 50’s to 80’s. Her favorite artists are Billy Joel, Elton John, Elvis Presley, The Eagles, Lady Gaga, Stevie Nicks, The Rolling Stones, among other classic rock artists. Alyssa also loves and sings country music. Her favorite is Martina McBride. “She was my first CD and my first concert. I love her. “

Alyssa’s musical performances are unique in nature. As a soloist, she often starts a gig singing rock classics and playing piano before switching to guitar.

Alyssa can be found on social media under: www.AlyssaLazar.com. Facebook – Alyssa Lazar Music. Instagram – alyssalazar – “Alyssa Lazar” on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and all other music sharing websites.

The words to Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobbie McGee ” were blaring out of the front entrance at Crotti’s on Ash. The sounds were heard in the air of night on Petersburg corners. It was a unique voice and people were gazing through the windows at a teenager singing and smiling to the crowd. The stars outside were bright and inside a little star was forming. - Steve Svetovich


"Clarks Summit native Alyssa Lazar to perform in NEPA during holiday season"

A Clarks Summit native has taken her pursuit of a career in music to Nashville, Tenn., to study, but she’ll return home for a few performances during the holiday season.

Alyssa Lazar, a 19-year-old freshman at Belmont University School of Music, will play a series of shows in Northeastern Pennsylvania beginning Friday at Sidney’s Lounge in Clarks Summit.

The young songwriter plays piano and guitar, and she said her vocal rehearsals are almost as old as she is.

“I cannot remember a time when I didn’t plan to pursue music,” Lazar said in a recent phone interview. “I remember being 3, sitting in the back of my mom’s car in a car seat singing along to Martina McBride and Reba McEntire.”

By the time Lazar was 4, she said, she knew she wanted to be a singer. She developed her voice by singing at dance recitals for Clarks Summit’s Devine School of Dance.

“I started playing piano when I was in second grade,” Lazar said. “I would play with a little kid’s electric piano. When I was in third grade, someone was giving away a nice piano, and my dad and uncles lugged the piano into the house.”

Piano lessons started that year for Lazar, and guitar lessons followed in fourth grade. By the time she was a freshman in high school, the young songstress had the equipment she needed to perform in public and started playing gigs at Scranton venues like Andy Gavin’s, Ale Mary’s and Coopers.

“That started becoming sort of my job, and I love it,” Lazar said.

After graduating from Abington Heights High School in 2016, Lazar matriculated at Belmont.

“I didn’t know that I was going to college to pursue music, but I knew I was going to Nashville, and I decided I would be pursuing music regardless,” Lazar said. “It’s been a great fit for me. It’s great getting the education while getting to experience Music City.”

Lazar said her education is coming not only through her school but also through spending time in one of the country’s thriving musical hot spots.

“Through going to all of these open mics and writers nights and getting to see what people do and what people have been doing through all the years they’ve been here, you learn a lot about the business and performance skills,” Lazar said. “They are necessary things to have a firmer grasp on what it means to be a real musician.”

Lazar released her debut EP, “570” in April of 2016. The record features four of her original tracks and was recorded at SI studios in Old Forge.

“I’m definitely rooted in country, but I’m also rooted in rock ‘n’ roll because my dad was always super in love with Elvis,” Lazar said. “I would say my music is like an Eagles country mixed with an Elton John sort of soul. That’s what my music has come to be.”

For her upcoming string of local shows, Lazar said listeners can expect an eclectic mix of popular music covers from Lady Gaga to Dolly Parton, with a few of her originals sprinkled in.

“I’m always writing whenever I get the chance,” she said. “I’m working on getting new stuff recorded, so maybe by summer of 2018, I’ll have that out.”

Although Lazar has grown to love Nashville, where studios are abundant, she plans to return to SI Studios to record.

“I’m a real hometown girl, and I couldn’t have had a better experience than I did there,” she said.

Lazar’s music is available on iTunes and Spotify. - Matt Mattei


"NEPA Scene's Got Talent Spotlight: Clark's Summit Singer/ Songwriter Alyssa Lazar"

Every week of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, our free open mic and talent competition at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, we feature a quick Q&A with the latest audience vote winner, which was young singer/songwriter Alyssa Lazar on Nov. 17.

The weekly winner receives $50 in cash, courtesy of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun. The event is sponsored by Samuel Adams; LT Verrastro, Inc.; Fireball Cinnamon Whisky; Fuzz 92.1; TwentyFiveEight Studios; and Thirst T’s.

After 12 weeks, the 12 winners will face off against each other at the Finals Showcase on Dec. 1 in front of a panel of local celebrities who will determine the winner of the grand prize – a winter getaway package with ski passes and more, $250, an interview broadcast on Fuzz 92.1, and a free 10-hour recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton. The second place winner will receive $100.

We asked Lazar, a 17-year-old junior at Abington Heights High School, about winning Week 12 with her remarkable voice.



NEPA SCENE: How did you hear about NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, and what made you decide to perform last week?

ALYSSA LAZAR: I actually initially heard about the NEPA Scene talent show at the hair salon, but I wasn’t sure if it was still going on. A month or so later, my friend, fellow Abington Heights High Schooler, fellow musician, and fellow finalist James Barrett told me I should go. So I did. And I’m sure glad I did. It would’ve killed me to have missed an opportunity like this.

NS: For those who don’t know you yet, tell us a bit about your background as a musician. How did you get started?

AL: The first time I sang in public was when I was about four years old. I was in dance class, and I had asked my teacher if I could sing the “Titanic” theme song for the class. After that, she asked me to open up my dance recital with “Over the Rainbow” for the Devine School of Dance. From that day on, I never stopped singing.

Shortly after, I started taking piano lessons and immediately fell in love. I wrote my first song in the third grade. I just loved putting words and music together. It became my favorite pastime. By six years old, I moved on to singing the national anthem at local football and baseball games. At 11, I was invited to sing the anthem at the Little League World Series. I returned at 13 to sing again.

I joined Our Lady of Snows Church choir in kindergarten. In sixth grade, I became a cantor at the church. I became very serious about songwriting at the beginning of middle school. I entered an original song for the “Reflections” program and took first place in the state.

The summer before I went into eighth grade, I went to Nashville with my family and became a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association. While I was there, I got to sing an original song called “In Crowd” at the Bluebird Cafe. It was so exciting to get to sing where artists like Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, and Faith Hill had performed. I was also fortunate enough to meet some incredible songwriters there at a writers’ seminar, one of them being Dave Turnball, who wrote “The Boys of Fall.” It was truly amazing.

The same year, I had entered a singing competition at the Stagecoach Inn and took first place. The prize was recording studio time, so I got to record a few of my originals. In ninth grade, I was lucky enough to be able to perform an original Christmas song at a holiday showcase at The Bitter End in Manhattan, where artists like Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, and Etta James have performed.

Nowadays, I perform at local venues every week. I started off singing at coffee houses, such as Duffy’s, and many Scranton First Nights, such as Bella Faccias, which gradually turned into more and more venues, such as Andy Gavin’s, Cooper’s, La Cucina, Damon’s, and many others. This past New Year’s Eve, I was chosen as a featured performer at First Night Scranton, where I performed at the AfA Gallery. That was truly an honor.

I am also requested at many private venues and was fortunate enough recently to be asked to entertain Thanksgiving Eve at a benefit at the Hilton for the Children’s Advocacy Center, which benefits abused and neglected children. I love performing for any venue that will help children who are less fortunate than myself. Close to my heart is a show I perform in every year to benefit children with autism, as well as organizations like Saint Joseph’s Center.

NS: You have a very powerful and striking voice. Are you professionally trained?

AL: Thank you so much! I actually have not trained professionally, I’ve just been singing non-stop since I was about three years old, singing to Martina McBride cd’s in the car with my mom.

NS: Do you do anything special to maintain your voice?

AL: I just make sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water whenever I’m performing.

NS: You have quite a few covers on your YouTube channel. How do you choose what songs to cover?

AL: Good question! A lot of the songs I sing are songs that I grew up singing. A lot of them are also popular songs I thought people would enjoy to hear me sing at my gigs. A lot of them are also requests! I was asked by the Jewish Home of NEPA to learn “Where the Boys Are” by Connie Francis when I came to sing for them, for instance. Now, I sing that song all the time. Of course, I also sing songs simply because I personally love them too.

NS: Tell us a bit about the writing and inspiration behind your own songs.

AL: The inspiration for my songs comes from life and mostly love. Sometimes, my songs aren’t written from personal experience, but rather something that has happened in someone else’s life. But most of my songs come straight from the source. Most of my songs are written directly about my personal life experiences of love and loss.

In eighth grade, I recorded eight acoustic originals and put them on iTunes, Spotify, etc. Now they’re kind of hard to listen to. It’s hard to listen to a 13-year-old version of yourself now being so used to hearing the 17-year-old version! It’s weird! I also just finished recording four of my original songs at SI Studios in Old Forge, and I am so excited for everyone to hear them. I’m extremely proud of how these turned out.

NS: Is music something that you’d like to pursue as a career or is it just for fun?

AL: I cannot imagine doing something with my life that doesn’t involve music. I just want to be able to share my music and perform for the rest of my life. My dream has always been to become a professional musician. I can’t even imagine a world where I’m not doing music, really. There is no backup plan!

NS: What was your immediate reaction/feeling when you won the audience vote last week?

AL: Oh my gosh, so crazy. Let me paint the scenario for you. It’s 1 a.m. on a Tuesday. I’m thinking, “It was so much fun to sing here. Man, I really, really, really hope I win. I can’t even miss school tomorrow; I’m already missing a day this week,” and then the harsh realization of, “Oh God, I’m going to have to wake up at 630 a.m. still.” And then, my name was called. If I had to wake up at 4 a.m. and go to school, it couldn’t have tamed my happiness. I was so so so excited.

NS: Why do you think you won the audience vote?

AL: Why do I think I won the audience vote? Maybe it was because I made sure I had a good song selection that people would enjoy and that would fit the environment well! I sang “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, my original song “Victim List,” and “I Will Always Love You.” Maybe that was it. But I think it was just the universe’s way of saying, “LOL, you’ve got a rough wakeup call ahead; I’ll throw you a bone!” No matter how it happened, I was so appreciative to see that the audience enjoyed my performance and voted for me. That’s awesome.

NS: How will you spend your $50 prize?

AL: I’d love to say I’m going to do something really cool with my $50 prize and go buy a 10-foot-long hoagie or 50 orders of value-sized fries from McDonald’s or something crazy like that, but I think I’m going to do the boring thing and save it!

NS: What are you most looking forward to about the Finals Showcase?

AL: I’m so looking forward to the Finals Showcase. I’m probably most excited to get to get all dolled up and put on a good show with my fellow finalists. It’s going to be really cool; I can’t wait.

NS: What is your opinion of the local arts and entertainment scene? What is great about it, and what needs improvement in your opinion?

AL: The local arts and entertainment scene, I’m proud to say, is really striving to promote the arts. Between Scranton First Nights, local open mics, and NEPA Scene, NEPA is really trying to provide opportunities for musicians and artists like myself, and for that I’m very thankful.

NS: Do you have any upcoming shows or performances you’d like to promote?

AL: I’ll be singing at the Ritz Theater in downtown Scranton this Friday, Dec. 4, and then Ale Mary’s on Dec. 5!

NS: Where can people find your music online?

AL: I post a lot of videos on YouTube that are mostly covers, but you can also find my originals on iTunes and on Spotify. I’ll have new music on iTunes and Spotify soon! - Rich Howells


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Alyssa Lazar is a 20 year old singer/songwriter from Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania who incorporates the heart of 70's rock n' roll in to her own music. She has a piano influenced pop/ rock sound, often being compared to Lady Gaga.
Alyssa has been singing for audiences starting at 300 people since she was 5 years old, her first performance being opening up her dance recital singing Martina McBride's rendition of "Over the Rainbow" . Since then, she has performed at numerous local football games, many AAA baseball games, the Little League World Series, presidential rallies, and much more.
At the age of eight, Alyssa began playing the piano, officially starting lessons at the age of nine. She began writing songs at a very young age as well, being awarded 1st place in the state of Pennsylvania for the National Reflections Competition at the age of twelve. Since entering high school, she began entertaining weekly at various venues throughout the Scranton area every weekend.
 Alyssa is now pursuing music in Nashville, TN at Belmont University School of Music, majoring in Commercial Music with an emphasis in songwriting. When home in Scranton, she gigs weekly at venues such as the V Spot, Crotti's on Ash, Andy Gavin's, and many others. Alyssa incorporates many genres in to her live music, including rock n' roll, pop, blues, country, and R&B, but Alyssa's music leans more toward a pop/ rock sound. Her main musical inspirations include Elton John, Lady Gaga, Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, and Queen. 

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