There aren’t many modern day Vaudevillians jaunting around the neighborhoods these days – but there is at least one making the rounds with a piano, ukulele, tape loops and maybe even an accordion in tow.
Lorrie Doriza, a singer/songwriter from Astoria, has a theatrical style that is playful, angry and dramatic all at once. Listening to her music, it’s easy to imagine being caught up in a sardonic, sarcastic and subversive Disney tale.
“It’s dramatic and angry and quirky and really playful, too,” said Doriza who has a difficult time pinning her style to one genre of music. “The truth is I really just like to bang on the piano and sing really fast, so it’s hard to come up with a genre for that.”
Her eclectic, all-encompassing style of piano rock, pop and awesomeness is undoubtedly related to her varied and global background. Doriza grew up a wanderer – traveling and living in Belgium, Greece, Australia and finally where all the other Greeks live, Astoria.
“It’s a blessing and a curse, I guess, but I’m really thankful for it,” she said of her nomadic upbringing. “Also, as a result, I’m really awkward and have a weird accent.”
Her parents started her on piano and ballet when she was around five years old. Both of her mother’s parents were musicians, so the pedigree for melody was embedded in her from a very young age. However, the ballet part didn’t quite leave the lasting impression that music did, even though she was as good as an ungraceful, tomboyish five-year-old could be.
“My teacher thought I was a naughty kid and a bad influence because I laughed a lot and flirted with the pianist who would accompany our dances,” she said. “So I stuck with the piano – and I still laugh and flirt a lot.”
And all of that laughing and flirting is done at the same piano she has had since she was six years old. It’s moved with her every single time she’s moved and it is the only thing that hasn’t changed since she was a young girl.
That is where she takes the melodies and riffs from her mind and transforms them into aural snippets, before they become full length songs. To her, lyrics tend to be secondary to the music – she’s more interested in the sounds of words, then the meaning of them.
“That’s not to say I don’t carefully choose them [her words],” she said. “I can spend hours, or months, carefully manipulating what I’m trying to say.”
Aside from her solo work, she’s busy wrapping up a collaboration called “Vespertina” with Stoupe, the producer of Jedi Mind Tricks, a hip-hop trio. They wrote a full length album that she expects to be released in early 2011 – it’s her second time working with the producer, first collaborating with him on the track “Find a Way.”
Her side projects give the enigmatic Doriza another chance to corral her ever-elusive and ever-maddening inspirational muse.
“Inspiration comes out of nowhere, like hiccups,” she said. “It lasts about as long as hiccups, too. Both are incredibly frustrating.”
For information, music and future plans from Doriza, check out at: www.myspace.com/lorriedoriza, www.facebook.com/lorriedoriza and www.facebook.com/vespertinagroup.

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