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About Joe Lazorik

Joe Lazorik’s
“Good Times Piano Music”


Joe Lazorik - Lehigh Valley Piano Entertainer

Biography - Joe Lazorik Lehigh Valley Piano Player

     Born and raised in Bethlehem PA,  Joe was involved in music and entertaining long before he even remembers.  According to his parents, as a small child Joe would hear a song on the radio and would go to the piano in their house and immediately reproduce the melody heard.  His father Francis, a lifetime Bethlehem Steel worker, spread word of his son’s talent and Joe as a grade school student soon found himself as a regular supplying the background music during cocktails and dinner at the former Bethlehem Steel Club in Hellertown for retirement dinners and private parties.  As a teenager while visiting his brother in California, Joe stumbled across a Shakey’s Pizza Parlor which in it's day featured live piano players performing old ragtime music and Joe was hooked!  Upon his trip home, much to the dismay of his mother, he immediately opened up the family piano and placed thumbtacks on the felt hammers that hit the strings to get that true honky-tonk sound.  He continued playing all types of music, but now each song could have the “player piano” feel to it that he was addicted to.

     Once in high school (Bethlehem Catholic) following his Bass Drum duties in the band after football and basketball games, he would often end up with a group at someone’s house who had a piano and start impromptu entertainment by singing ads from the local Yellow Pages or make up silly songs about people everyone knew or local events.  Everyone loved Joe and he loved what he had a natural ability to do.  Following years of word-of-mouth gigs about his unique piano playing abilities, Joe finally decided to take his act public.  With the suggestion of his trusted neighbor and friend, Lehigh Valley blues guitarist Craig Thatcher, Joe found a few places in the Lehigh Valley that still had pianos around and put his name out.  Shortly after and with extremely little notice, he got a call from a bar (The Butternut Inn) stating the entertainer they had booked for the evening, Dave Fry, was unavailable due to laryngitis and could he come up and play that night?  With little time to prepare, Joe drove to the place that evening, said a quick prayer in the bathroom beforehand, and went out to give it his best.  Within 15 seconds of starting his first honky-tonk song, the crowd started cheering and Joe knew this was for him!  Before the night was over he had people standing on their chairs singing and even playing spoons to music their parents and grand-parents grew up with.  The rest was easy after that!

     Joe continued to entertain where he could providing a variety of music, but the lack of real pianos in the Lehigh Valley, along with finding a venue where his desired “fun” entertainment would fit in was making gigs hard to find.  He started promoting himself as “Good Times Piano Music” to avoid calls from people who wanted a piano lounge act wearing a tuxedo who sat there playing songs like “Feelings” all night.  Joe loves when people sing along and always brings along song sheets for the audience to join in if desired, sampling turn of the century classics, folk songs, ballads, patriotic selections, show tunes, TV theme songs, and hits of the 50's, 60's and 70’s.  Once the internet came along and it was easier for people to locate performers like him, he shifted to private entertainment, primarily in people’s homes for holidays, birthdays and anniversary parties.  “I love stirring up musical memories.” says Joe and “I know I had a really good night if my playing made someone cry – and don’t take that the wrong way!”   Eventually, Joe became regular Saturday evening entertainment at the Raubsville Inn in Easton and then was contacted by the Historic Bethlehem organization for the Christmas season and had the pleasure of doing Holiday Sing-a-longs at the Hotel Bethlehem for visiting tour groups.  “Having people from around the country come up to you afterwards to say Thank You for the wonderful time makes it all worth while” says Joe.

     Still providing private in-home entertainment for parties and being very busy during the Holiday Season, Joe has however found a new calling in entertaining for Church Groups and Senior Communities.  It is a fulfilling experience plus has met so many wonderful people. He proudly performs his creation of  "The Great American Piano Show"  which is 75 minute interactive audience participation musical tribute of songs from the 1890's through the 1970's.  Just how permanent  this music had been etched in people's minds occasionally comes out during a performance.   Joe will never forget once playing for a group that had an Alzheimer's patient in it   She could not remember the names of her own children, yet she was singing along and knew all the words to every song he played.  It was a startling and heart-warm experience for him.

     Late 2014 Joe had the thrill of his musical career in the lobby of the Sand Casino when he got to chance meet and actually talked a few minutes one-on-one with the great Tony Orlando.  "I mentioned to Mr. Orlando that I first saw him in person at the Allentown Fair back in the 70's and how his interaction with the audience inspired me to start doing what I do today".  Upon hearing this, Tony paused and gave Joe a big hug and told him that he would never know how much what he just said means to him.   After exchanging a few other thoughts, Tony took a ticket from the show he had just performed and wrote on it:
"Joe, YOU inspire me!  Tony Orlando".  That item is now framed and sits on top of Joe's piano in his home where he sees it every time he plays.

     Residing in Coopersburg PA, Joe is a big supporter of Lehigh Valley local entertainment where one of his favorite performers is Piano Man Tommy Zito.  Joe has known of Tommy since his Uproar and Magnum days, re-connected with him about 20 years ago, and now tries to catch his act whenever he can - both locally and at the NJ shore.  Every week, the Lehigh Valley has a wealth of established and upcoming musicians that are out there playing in various clubs and restaurants which he enjoys checking out and also uses as an opportunity to develop new friendships.

     Joe is available throughout the Eastern PA + Western NJ areas for your personal piano entertainment needs.  He can be found on the web at: www.GoodTimesPianoMusic.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/GoodTimesPianoMusic  plus can be reached via e-mail at: Joe @ GoodTimesPianoMusic.com.  If anyone has a piano, and wants to liven up their party or establishment, be sure to consider Joe for a refreshing change!



Personal note from Joe:  The individuals and establishments mentioned above were just some of those instrumental in the development of my passion.  However there are many more from my background (too numerous to mention here) that I'd like to express my gratitude for all they have helped me with over the years - some without even realizing it!

Cheers,

Joe

   


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Copyright 2017 - "Good Times Piano Music"
Joe Lazorik - Lehigh Valley Piano Entertainment
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania