Call Answered: Nick Ziobro Interview: Without A Song at Chelsea Table + Stage

actor broadway cabaret film movies music musical theatre singer television theatre tv Jun 17, 2024
Call Me Adam Title Page. Call Me Adam logo is on the left side. Nick Ziobro's headshot is on the right side. In the top center of the page is an orange circle with jagged edges that says Featured Interview. Between our photos it says Without A Song. Below the title and in between our names there is an auburn circle that says www.callmeadam.com

I can't believe it has been 10 years since I saw Singer Nick Ziobro perform. I was at his 2014 Birdland concert when he was releasing his debut CD, A Lot of Livin' To Do

When I got the press release that Nick was returning to New York City with a brand new cabaret show, I knew this was the moment to catch up with him. But the truth of the matter is, this is actually the first time I am getting to interview Nick. I thought we had spoken back in 2014, but we never got the chance.

So, this interview is EXTRA special for me.

Nick will be performing his brand new cabaret show, Without A Song, at Chelsea Table + Stage this Friday, June 21, 2024 at 9:30pm EST. Click here for tickets (both in-person & a livestream option)

In this interview, Nick answered my call to reveal:
  • What excites him about his new show, Without A Song
  • How being mentored by 5-time Grammy nominee, Michael Feinstein, helped him get started in this industry
  • The career he would have chosen if he wasn't a singer
  • What he still hopes to accomplish
  • So much more

Connect with Nick: Website, Facebook, Instagram

Without A Song is packed with selections from the ever-expanding great American songbook, the night features music from Cole Porter to Carole King, as well as some artists you never thought you’d see coming. Travel across time with heartfelt vocals and stories through the best songs from the last century with Nick and an all-star band of New York musicians led by the incomparable Tedd Firth.

Nick Ziobro and Michael Feinstein

 1. At the time of sending these questions, it has been almost 10 years to the day that I was first introduced to you, and your talents. I saw you perform at Birdland on May 22, 2014 when you released your debut CD A Lot of Livin’ to Do. Back then you were being described as Michael Feinstein's protege. I have to start this interview by asking, how do you feel Michael's guidance helped propel you? I can’t believe that was just over 10 years ago! It feels like yesterday, and yet at the same time like a completely different lifetime. Getting to debut the album at Birdland then was such a thrilling experience, and to have Michael be part of it alongside the best musicians in NYC was a dream come true.

Working with Michael over the years opened so many doors for me and introduced me to the most amazing people. I can only describe the circumstances of getting to meet him and work with him as a “Lightning in a Bottle” event because it truly changed my whole life. Not only did he so generously bring me along to the most prestigious performing arts centers and concert halls in America, he also was such a great teacher behind the scenes. The knowledge and passion for this music that Michael has is unmatched, and because he shared so much with me I was constantly growing and learning from him.

I learned to dissect and interpret these songs at a level that would have taken me years to do on my own. I’ll always be grateful to Michael for his kindness and his belief in me.

2. Playing off your debut album’s title, with all the living you have done, what have you learned about yourself from being in the music business? A lot of livin’ has been done since that album came out! Both personally and professionally I’ve grown and changed so much over the years. One of the biggest things I’ve learned about myself is that I absolutely love to travel.

In the last 10 years I’ve been to 6 out of 7 continents, including Antarctica! Getting to perform all across the world has introduced me to amazing humans all over the planet, and music connects each and every one of them.

3. Continuing with this play, what do you feel you still want to accomplish that you haven’t? I’d love to work on a Broadway show—I’ve had the chance to work with symphonies and big bands, on TV and movie sets, but musical theater was my very first love and I still hold that dream.

4. Now, you are getting ready to debut your brand-new show, Without A Song at Chelsea Table + Stage this Friday, June 21. What excites you about this upcoming show? Since it’s been so long since I’ve done my own show here in NYC, it feels like coming back home after being gone for years. I’ve got an amazing trio of musicians led by Tedd Firth, (who actually led the band at Birdland all those years ago!). I’m excited to show people who may not have seen me in a while how much I’ve grown.

5. Press notes state that you are going to be signing songs by artists we never saw coming. Who are some of the artists you cover that you feel would surprise audiences? I’ll keep it a surprise for the set, but I’ve been saying for years that I believe that the Great American Songbook is truly always expanding, and while some of the best songs ever were written almost 100 years ago, there are so many songs and writers since then who have had such a huge impact on American popular music, and I think there are songs that are being written even today that will have such a lasting effect on us all for years and years, and I’m so excited to explore them all.

6. Since the show is called Without A Song, if you weren’t a singer, what career do you think you would be doing? In my life I’ve been surrounded by incredible teachers both in my family and in my own schooling growing up, so I’d probably choose to be a teacher. I actually worked as a substitute teacher during the pandemic and really loved it! I loved getting to work with students especially during such a difficult time for them.

7. Another line used in the show’s description is “Travel across time with heartfelt vocals and stories through the best songs from the last century.” If you could travel to any decade of music, what era would you want to travel to? I can only choose one?? Well if I had to choose—I would probably choose the 1960s. The 60s were such a transformative time in America, both politically and socially. I believe that the music of that time reflected that massive change.

Yes there were still the classic crooners on the radio who were at their peak, but new sounds from the rock bands like the Beatles were also totally reshaping the musical landscape. There were also new singer songwriters entering the scene like Carole King and Neil Young who had such an impact on me musically growing up.

Nick Ziobro

8. In addition to having Michael Feinstein as your mentor, you have performed with some of the biggest names in the entertainment business Marilyn Maye, Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, Rita Moreno, Andrea McArdle, and Clay Aiken. Do you have any stories from working with these illustrious artists or is there something you learned from them that you have taken with you since singing with them? One of my favorite people to ever work with is Marilyn Maye. She is just the absolute peak of what it means to be an interpreter of this music. She is so full of life, so energetic, absolutely hilarious. At 96 years old, she has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard.

Singing with her and watching her onstage was a masterclass you can’t put a price on. Her interpretations of these songs have stuck with me for years, and I do my best to emulate her connection to the lyrics as much as possible.

9. In addition to singing you are also an actor. So, bringing things back to the title of your upcoming show Without A Song, how does acting allow you to express yourself in a way singing does not? While I feel like I get to be 100% myself while singing, acting allows me to put my personal experiences into a character to create a narrative rather than letting it come through the song. Without the music to work with lyrics, acting requires a pull from deep internal experiences to convey choices and heart of the character you are portraying.

10. What is something we didn't get to talk about in this interview that you'd like my audiences to know about you? If you’ve never seen me before and are in New York on June 21st, please come join me for the show! It will be such a blast and I would love to meet some new friends!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love lifting weights! Sometimes it’s hard to keep a routine when life gets busy, but I do the best I can.

12. Pancakes or French Toast? Tough choice, but if the pancakes have blueberries I’m going to always choose the pancakes.

13. Coffee or Tea? How do you take it? Coffee—iced, a little milk and a little turbinado sugar!

14. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers for comfort, but briefs for peace of mind.

Nick Ziobro performing

More on Nick Ziobro:

Nick Ziobro was named the national winner of the 2012 Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Vocal Competition, and spent a year serving as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and touring with his mentor, world-renowned performer Michael Feinstein. He made his New York debut at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in 2012 opening for Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye.

Nick performed at the induction galas for the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame in 2012 and 2013 alongside Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, Rita Moreno, Andrea McArdle, Clay Aiken, and Jose Feliciano. He was invited to perform the National Anthem for the Indianapolis Colts in September 2012. He has performed at other venues all over the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Birdland, the Kennedy Center, the Kravis Center, the Palladium, the Wynn Las Vegas, The LA County Arboretum, and the Napa Valley Opera House.

His film credits include Big Time Adolescence (Hulu), and his television credits include America’s Got Talent (NBC) and The Gilded Age (HBO).

Nick's debut album A Lot of Livin’ to Do – produced by Michael Feinstein and featuring jazz greats Bucky Pizzarelli, Tedd Firth, Jay Leonhart and more – was released in 2014.

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