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New Composers Feat. in 'Words and Music By...' at Zipper

The Zipper Factory proudly announces "Words and Music By…", a celebration of the singer-songwriter, a new ongoing series that showcases new composer-performers, as well as musical artists on the verge of breaking out.  The series commences in November, and in the coming weeks The Zipper is proud to present the following artists as part of this series:

Tuesday November 13 at 8PM
Tickets: $20

"Niko and Friends" is an evening of original songs by singer-songwriter Nikos Tsakalakos, who is making his NYC debut.  Hailed as a 'fresh and distinctive new voice on the scene', Late Nite With Niko inaugurated Barrington Stage Company's Musical Theatre Lab's Late Nite series in August of this year.  The show features original songs by Niko, dubbed 'the Greek Neil Diamond' by mentor William Finn (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Falsettos).  "Niko and Friends" also features special guests Heath Calvert, Demond Green, Christy McIntosh and Alysha Umphress.  Jamming onstage with Niko will be Brian Usifer (piano), Jeff Roberts (drums), Eric Day (bass) and Sean Mahoney (guitar).

Monday November 19 at 9:30PM & Monday December 17 at 9:30PM
Tickets: $25

Deaf composer Jay Alan Zimmerman (Jay Alan Zimmerman's Incredibly Deaf Musical at DC's Capital Fringe Festival) launches his unique variety show "J@Z:The Jay Alan Zimmerman Show."  Joining Zimmerman November 19 will be Broadway divas Jessica Phillips (Pimpernel, Tommy, Superstar) and Kelly Ellenwood (Phantom), Kevin Massey (Tarzan, Big River) and aerial performers Kiebpoli Calnek and Susie Williams.  The December 17 show will feature several singers, aerial performers, drag queens and a rock and roll Santa.  "J@Z:The Jay Alan Zimmerman Show" is Jay's first production with a cast since he became deaf, and includes several works that showcase his new approach of creating visual music.

Wednesday November 28 at 9PM
Tickets: $ 12

With four independently produced CDs under his belt, Eric Himan, the so-called "bad boy of folk" (Philadelphia Metro), also dubbed "the gay Bruce Springsteen" (Time Out Chicago), makes a stop in NYC  on his nationwide tour supporting his fifth release, Everywhere All At Once (Thumbcrown Records). Eric's unique sound transgresses genre as his songs dabble in Blues, Folk, Pop, Blue Grass, Country, and Rock all served up with a pinch of wit and charm, earning him comparisons to Ani DiFranco, Cat Stevens and Tracy Chapman.

Wednesday December 12 at 8PM
Tickets: $12

Singer/songwriter Jay Brannan, who recently appeared as "Ceth" in John Cameron Mitchell's feature film Shortbus, is rising to the top of the unsigned folk artist charts on MySpace.  His self-released 4-song EP "Unmastered" made its debut as the No. 2 Top Folk Album on iTunes.  Jay's song "Soda Shop," featured in Shortbus and found on the film's soundtrack, was also featured on YouTube's homepage and has accumulated over 1 million views.  Another video, "Body's a Temple," was voted YouTube's No. 3 Best Music Video of the Year for 2006.  Jay's music deftly blends folk and rock with a slight touch of pop, and bridges the gaps between hope and bitterness, courage and insecurity, honesty and denial.

Friday December 14 at 9:30PM
Tickets: $20

Transgendered composer/performer Our Lady J returns to The Zipper with "The Gospel of Dolly," an inspiring evening of song featuring Dolly Parton's most beloved music in addition to Our Lady J originals.  "The Gospel of Dolly," featuring the Pink Champagne Orchestra and the 30-voice Train To Kill Gospel Choir, brings gospel music into the 21st century…Join the Church of Our Lady J!

Monday December 17 at 7PM
Tickets: $15

Todd Almond performs regular gigs with his band, featuring Jeremy Chatzky, Tricia Scotti and Ethan Hein, at venues in NYC.  His show Todd Almond Loves You was recently a featured event at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. As a composer for theater, Almond has written shows for Mitu, the company-in-residence at New York Theatre Workshop, and for Juilliard, NYU, The Peterborough Players, and for City at Peace. His award-winning musical, People Like Us, was featured at the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival. He scored the independent feature WTC View along with The Hiders frontman Bill Alletzhauser.  He collaborates with composer Paul Hogan on contemporary opera, and is currently working on a new show with Mitu, called Mexico City.

To purchase tickets in advance for any attraction at The Zipper Factory, call Ovation Tix at 212-352-3101, or go online at For pre or post show dinner reservations at The Zipper Factory Tavern, please call 212-695-4600.  View the menu online at

Photos (top-bottom): Nikos Tsakalakos, Jay Alan Zimmerman, Eric Himan, Jay Branna, Our Lady J and Todd Almond

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