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Singer and songwriter Elizabeth Hareza moved to Park City from North Carolina last September and is making a name for herself in the town's music scene. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hareza)
Park City has always boasted a talented pool of musicians.

From professionals to amateurs, these musicians have entertained in the various nightclubs and free concerts throughout the years.

One of the emerging musicians on the local scene is singer and songwriter Elizabeth Hareza, who has performed at the Blind Dog, the Silver Star Café, 350 Main, the Riverhorse on Main, the Saturday socials at the Chateau Residences and at an array of private parties.

After moving here permanently from Charlotte, N.C., in September, Hareza has nicely settled in Park City.

In fact, she will perform a return engagement at the Silver Star Café's Park City Limits series on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested, and can be made by calling (435) 655-3456.

Hareza fell in love with Park City while employed as an intern at B2 and Company, a commercial real estate firm in town.

"I loved Park City from the first time I arrived and have been trying to get back here ever since," Hareza told The Park Record. "I came out here as soon as I had a chance."

Hareza's music was inspired by bluegrass pioneers Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, with shades of Billy Joel and Jethro Tull.

"I've loved music my entire life, but when I was growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa., my parents limited what I could listen to," she said. "They were really concerned about the swearing and different connotations you find in the music of the 1990s.


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To satisfy her appetite for music, Hareza listened to a lot of bubblegum pop — Hanson, Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys.

"It's hilarious, because I don't play anything like that," she said. "I know pop can be amazing, though, because you have Michael Jackson, but it's not something that I do.

"But the one CD I did have access to as kids was Billy Joel's 'The Stranger,'" she said. "I love that album. It's one of those rare ones that I could listen to from beginning to end, without pushing skip."

When she was living in North Carolina, she heard Bela Fleck & the Flecktones.

"They have a release called 'Live at the Quick,' and I have watched that video and listened to that record over and over," Hareza remembered. "I would say Bela and a lot of the people he plays with have been my biggest influences, because they pull on my emotions and it is such a positive thing."

The catalyst for playing music live was her father.

"My dad was my very best friend and was always up front," Hareza said. "He told me I didn't suck and it wasn't because I was his daughter."

In 2006, Hareza's parents were vacationing on their 25th wedding anniversary and her dad tripped and fell off a cliff and died.

"After that, I thought about what he said, and decided that I had to get over this sadness and put an ad on Craigslist," she said. "I wanted to play music and I made it sound like I had all this experience to weed out the not-so-serious people."

The ad was answered by someone who asked if she knew anything about music theory.

"When he found I didn't, he said he would give me some free lessons, but I couldn't be in a band," Hareza said. "I went over and sang Tracy Chapman's 'Give Me One Reason' and he said, 'OK. You can be in the band, but if you mess up just once, this is your only chance.'"

Hareza was in the band until she moved to Park City and learned how to present herself as a professional musician.

"Before I placed the ad, I had developed this horrible stage fright," she said. "I don't know why, but I was scared to death of messing up in front of anyone. I guess didn't want to be like some of the terrible singers on 'American Idol,' who think they're the best."

The experiences in the band helped Hareza over come that stage fright, and moving to Park City validated her a professional musician, because, she said, the musicians she has met here are the most talented she has ever met.

"I love Park City and everyone has received me with open arms and ears," she said. "They have let me play for them and have enjoyed my shows.

"I love playing private parties where people come together to enjoy themselves," Hareza said. "It's like hanging out with your friends."

Hareza would eventually like to assemble an original band.

"I love collaborating," she said. "Music is a palate for me and it is my passion. I'm open to whatever options are on the horizon to me, and my goal is to play music for the rest of my life until my hands and feet fall off."

Elizabeth Hareza will perform the Park City Limits concert at the Silver Star Café, 1825 Three Kings Dr., on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested, and can be made by calling (435) 655-3456. For more information, visit www.thesilverstarcafe.com or email elizabethlivemusic@gmail.com .