By Steve Svetovich
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.
“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.
Alyssa 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.