The Highline Ballroom is a prestigious venue, and an artist who performs there must be talented.
Gallatin junior Zack Zadek is a rising Broadway composer and lyricist, anticipating both the release of his first EP and his performance at the Highline Ballroom.
A native of Long Island, Zadek first sat down behind the keys of his piano at age three and was instantly hooked. Soon after, he picked up the guitar and began playing with chords and progressions, making up short songs as he learned.
Zadek’s participation in shows at his local Jewish Community Center exposed him to the world of musical theater.
“I had this great circle of friends from the community theaters in my area growing up, and later the school shows I was a part of,” Zadek said. “So I was very much a theater kid and a big theater nerd.”
Since his early days at the JCC, Zadek has composed many pieces and performed them locally around New York City and at venues in Los Angeles. One of his musicals, “6,” not only sold out upon its release, but was selected by the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Zadek’s upcoming performance at the Highline will feature songs from this musical, his play “The Crazy Ones” and many of his own piano-pop compositions.
“This is definitely the biggest show I’ve ever played,” Zadek said. “It’s similar to some of my usual concerts but just on a much bigger scale … expect a whole lot of music, music, music.”
In addition to performing live at the Highline, he eagerly awaits the release of his very first EP.
“The songs on the upcoming EP are very self-reflective,” Zadek said. “When you’re writing songs for yourself as an artist you get to sort of bare your soul in a ‘this is me, these are my songs’ kind of way.”
Zadek’s EP acts as a requiem for the realm of musical theater, allowing him to really unfold his ideas without the limitations brought on by live performance. He incorporates his background and maintains a Broadway-vibe throughout these pieces.
“They are all tied together with a similar aesthetic,” he said. “I want any song I write to be easily accessible and informed by the modern sensibility of the music we are living in now.”
NYU alumna and off-Broadway actress Molly Hager frequently collaborates with Zadek and will be performing with him at the Highline Ballroom show.
“I’ve had the privilege of playing Steve Jobs’ baby mama in Zack’s musical ‘The Crazy Ones’ and singing a few of his pop songs around town,” Hager said.
She is featured on Zadek’s EP and plans to work with him in the near future.
“We’re hoping to get some time to record a track or two in the next couple of months,” Hager said. “But for now, I’m really excited to hear his new EP.”
Expect a few surprises and a lot of great music at his upcoming show at the Highline Ballroom on Monday, Nov. 11. Show time is at 8 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m.
Kate Marin is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]